Foreign exchange – Greenback close to Three-month highs vs. yen, pound regular after UK GDP

© Reuters.  Dollar near 3-month highs vs. yen, sterling steady after UK GDP© Reuters. Dollar near 3-month highs vs. yen, sterling steady after UK GDP – The dollar was steady near nine-month highs against the other major currencies on Thursday, as traders looked to upcoming U.S. economic reports amid expectations for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve later this year.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 98.56, holding below Tuesday’s nine-month peak of 99.09.

The index has rallied 3.4% so far this month as hawkish remarks by Fed officials in recent weeks cemented expectations for a December rate hike.

U.S. data on Wednesday showed that after a sharp fall in August, pointing to ongoing momentum in the housing market. A separate report showed that U.S. service sector activity expanded at the fastest rate in 11 months in October.

The reports came as investors were turning their attention to Friday’s data on U.S. third quarter growth, which is expected to show a significant rebound from the second quarter.

The U.S. was due to release figures on durable goods, jobless claims and pending home sales later Thursday.

Investors are currently pricing in a 72.5% chance of a rate hike at the Fed’s December meeting; according to federal funds futures tracked by’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Expectations for higher interest rates typically boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

Sterling remained little changed after data on third quarter growth indicating that .

initially touched highs of 1.2271 before easing back to 1.2257.

Britain’s service sector, which makes up three quarters of the economy, expanded in the three months to September, but activity in other sectors contracted.

Meanwhile, the dollar was near three-month highs against the yen, with up 0.27% to 104.73.

The euro was little changed, with last at 1.0916.

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