The dollar trimmed losses and held steady against the other major’s currencies on Friday, as the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates this week continued to support the greenback at 14-year highs. EUR/USD was almost unchanged at 1.0408, off the previous session’s 14-year low of 1.0363. The greenback rallied after the Fed concluded its policy meeting on Wednesday by raising interest rates by 25 basis points and projected three more rate hikes for 2017.
It was the Fed’s first rate hike since December 2015. The U.S. Commerce Department said earlier Friday that housing starts tumbled 18.7% to hit 1.090 million units last month from October’s total of 1.340 million units, an upward revision from the initial 1.323 million. Analysts had expected November’s reading to fall to only 1.230 million units.
Meanwhile, U.S. building permits dropped 4.7% to 1.201 million units last month from 1.260 million in October. Economists had forecast the units to fall to 1.240 million units in November. Elsewhere, GBP/USD added 0.17% to 1.2437, after falling to a three-week trough of 1.2372 on Thursday.
The pound remained mildy supported after the Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.25% and the bank’s bond-buying program target at £435 billion.USD/JPY held steady at 118.22, while USD/CHF was almost unchanged at 1.0295.The Australian and New Zealand dollars pushed lower, with AUD/USD down 1.01% at a six-month low of 0.6947 and with NZD/USD tumbling 1.29% to a six-month low of 0.6945.
Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.35% to trade at 1.3385. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 103.22, off session low of 102.75 and close to the previous session’s 14-year peak of 103.56.