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Dollar Climbs Higher

The U.S. dollar, which took a breather of sorts on Tuesday after staying firm for several sessions, firmed up again on Wednesday.

The dollar's strength was due largely to the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony . Powell said the U.S. economy remained strong and suggested there was little reason for the central bank to cut rates.

The dollar index rose to 99.05 by mid afternoon, edging up gradually after a somewhat subdued start, and was last seen at 99.00, up nearly 0.3% from previous close.

Against the euro, the dollar strengthened to $1.0874, from $1.0917, gaining about 0.4%, after data from Eurostat showed Eurozone industrial production decreased more than expected in December.

Industrial production declined 2.1% month-on-month in December after staying flat in November. Economists had forecast a 1.7% drop.

On a yearly basis, industrial production declined 4.1%, bigger than the 1.7% fall in November and the forecast of -1.9%. In 2019, industrial production decreased 1.7%.

The pound sterling was up slightly with a unit fetching $1.2958.

Against the Japanese Yen, the dollar firmed up to 110.13, rising more than 0.3% from Tuesday's close.

Against the Loonie, the dollar was down at 1.3252. The Aussie too was up against the dollar with the pair trading at 0.6737, after Australia's consumer confidence advanced in February.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose 2.3% to 95.5 in February from 93.4 a month ago. Despite the moderate improvement, sentiment remained weak overall.

The dollar was up against Swiss franc at 0.9783, gaining about 0.25% in the session.

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