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    Dollar pushes higher after Yellen comments

    The dollar pushed higher against the rest of the major currencies on Wednesday, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen identified that conditions in the U.S. would allow it to pursue "gradual" adjustments to monetary policy, although a number of global threats can cause delays on the pace of future interest rate hikes.

    More specifically, Janet Yellen said in testimony to Congress, that the US economy faces a number of global threats that could derail growth and compel the Fed to slow the pace of future interest rate hikes. While the Fed expects to raise interest rates gradually, it is not on any pre-set course, Yellen reported, adding that the central bank would likely move slower "if the economy were to disappoint".

    The dollar slipped 0.11% against the Japanese yen, with USD/JPY to trade at 115.05, the weakest level since November 2014 but still close to Tuesday’s lows of 114.20.

    The single currency fell 0.97% against the dollar, with EUR/USD to trade at 1.1180.

    Sterling pound was steady against the dollar, with GBP/USD at 1.4475. The U.K. Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday that manufacturing production decreased by 0.2% in December, disappointing expectations for a gain of 0.1% and following a decline of 0.3% a month earlier.
     
    However, the dollar rose 0.80% against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF at 0.9805. 

    Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.37% at 0.7097 and with NZD/USD gaining 0.29% to 0.6654. Earlier Wednesday, the Westpac Banking Corporation announced that its consumer sentiment index for Australia jumped by 4.2% in February, compared to expectations for a 1.0% fall, after a 3.5% drop the previous month. 

    The U.S. dollar moved higher against its Canadian counterpart, while declining oil prices continued to weigh on the commodity related currency, USD/CAD gained 0.18% to trade at 1.3891. 

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.13% at 96.16, after rising to 96.33 earlier in the session.

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