The U.S. dollar retreated against most major currencies on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony in Congress and U.S. economic data came out mixed.
It's hard to tell how much recent weakness of the U.S. economy is result of the abnormally cold weather, said Yellen in her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee about the economic outlook and monetary policy. She also said that it's appropriate for the U.S. central bank to keep accommodative monetary policy in place for some time.
The dollar pared gains of the previous session as investors viewed the comment as offering at least a hint that the Fed might slow or suspend a scale-back in its economic stimulus if the U.S. economy slowed down.
U.S. economic data released on Thursday were mixed. The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits in the week ending Feb. 22 rose 14,000 to 348,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The reading was more than market expectations.
Meanwhile, new orders for manufactured durable goods in January decreased 2.2 billion U.S. dollars, or 1.0 percent, to 225.0 billion dollars, said the Commerce Department. The decrease came less than analysts' forecast.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3709 dollars from 1.3684 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6684 dollars from 1.6662 dollars. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.8963 dollar from 0.8909 dollar.
The dollar bought 102.07 Japanese yen, lower than 102.46 yen of the previous session. The dollar moved down to 0.8883 Swiss franc from 0.8909 Swiss franc, and it moved up to 1.1146 Canadian dollars from 1.1130 Canadian dollars.