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U.S. Dollar Inches Up After Powell Comments; Asian Data in Focus - The U.S. dollar inched up on Thursday in Asia following prepared remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The Australian dollar dropped after the release of weak employment reports.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched up 0.1% to 98.280 by 12:30 AM ET (04:30 GMT).

Powell, who is testifying in front of Congress, said that while the economy is on track right now, there are risks to the current economic expansion.

“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook,” Powell said Wednesday in remarks prepared for delivery to the congressional Joint Economic Committee in Washington. “However, noteworthy risks to this outlook remain.”

Meanwhile, the AUD/USD pair fell 0.6% to 0.6799 after the statistics bureau reported that the country’s unemployment rate unexpectedly rose 5.3% in October versus the expectation of no change from 5.2% last month.

The NZD/USD pair traded 0.3%, giving back some of its gains yesterday after the central bank unexpectedly left rates unchanged.

The USD/CNY pair was little changed at 7.0215 after data today showed that industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all came in weaker than previously expected.

The USD/JPY pair slipped 0.1% to 108.71. Japan’s Cabinet Office reported on Thursday that the country’s economy grew at 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in the three months through September. Economists had forecast a 0.9% expansion.

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