Dollar nears three-week peak after Fed’s Powell shuns negative rates

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The dollar rose to a near three-week peak on Thursday after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell dismissed the prospect of adopting negative interest rates.

Powell’s comments diminished risk appetite as investors rushed to the safe-haven dollar. Meanwhile, U.S. stocks reported their biggest two-day fall in over three weeks.

The dollar index climbed 0.15%, at 100.30.

The Australian dollar slid 0.3%, to $0.6437 after unemployment data increased by 594,300 in April. 

The British pound fell below the $1.22-line for the first time in over five weeks after data showed Britain’s economy contracted by a record 5.8% in March.

Investors focused on data to be released by the United States and Europe to assess economic outlook. U.S. initial unemployment claims data is due on Thursday. EU reports its first-quarter GDP on Friday.

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