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    U.S. Dollar Broadly Underpinned

    The U.S. dollar was broadly stronger against other major counterparts on Wednesday, as markets remained wary ahead of the ECB’s imminent policy meeting and amid escalating global concerns.

    The USD/JPY pair was slightly changed at 112.69. The Japanese yen was strengthened following the release of soft China’s trade data on Tuesday that reignited concerns over a slowdown of the global economy.   

    The country’s exports plunged 25% last month, marking the biggest fall since May 2009. The safe-haven yen found support, following a Reuters’ report arguing that the BoJ may refrain from trimming rates after January’s unexpected move to apply negative rates, at its monetary policy review in the coming week. 

    The EUR/USD pair fell 0.45% to trade at 1.0961. The single currency lost ground as the European Central Bank is broadly expected to trim interest rates further into negative territory during its monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Markets also expect the bank to enlarge its asset purchasing programme in an attempt to fight persistently low inflation in the eurozone.

    The greenback was flat against the sterling, with GBP/USD trading at 1.4210, and higher against the franc, with USD/CHF jumping 0.61% to 1.0021. Uncertainty over the result of the 23rd of June referendum on Britain’s E.U. membership continued to weigh on the British pound.

    The U.K. Office for National Statistics reported on the same day that industrial production was up 0.3% in January, after falling 1.1% a month earlier. Economists anticipated a 0.5% rise. On the other hand, industrial output increased 0.2% in the reported month compared to a year earlier, in accordance with forecasts. 

    Manufacturing output rose 0.7% after a 0.3% decline in December, marking the first increase in four months, and above expectations for a 0.2% rise. Compared to 2015, manufacturing production lost 0.1%, way below expectations for a 0.7% drop. 

    Elsewhere, the Australian and New Zealand dollars was strengthened, with AUD/USD rising 0.50% at 0.7473, and NZD/USD gaining 0.27% to 0.6763. The Canadian dollar was steady against the greenback at 1.3405, ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision.

    The U.S. dollar index inched up 0.32% at 97.46, higher than the previous session’s two-week bottom of 96.89. 

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