The dollar gained modest ground versus other majors on Wednesday, as falling U.S. stocks and renewed concerns about the Greek credit crisis made the dollar slightly more attractive.
Reports suggesting that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will make no new policy announcements at Jackson Hole gave the dollar a bit of support.
Bernanke will give his assessment of the U.S. economy on Friday, while European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is expected to make public remarks on Saturday.
The euro came under pressure after a strong start the session, burdened by disappointing euro zone economic news and soaring Greek borrowing costs.
The dollar steadied near $1.44 versus the euro, with the pair unable to sustain any moves away from that mark in the past few months.
Mid-day gains took the dollar to a weekly high of $1.6375 versus the sterling, and to CHF 0.79 against the Swiss franc.
The buck was firm near Y76.75 versus the yen, having touched a record low of 75.93 last week.
In economic news from the U.S., new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose more than expected in July. A Commerce Department report showed that durable goods orders came in at $201.5 billion, an increase of $7.7 billion or 4 percent from the previous month.
U.S. mortgage applications declined last week, with demand for purchase loans tumbling to the lowest in almost 15 years, according to closely watched industry figures released Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, fell 2.4 percent in the week ended August 19.
Elsewhere, new orders received by industries in Eurozone declined unexpectedly in June, signaling a lackluster outlook for production amid waning demand and intensified debt crisis in the region.
Industrial orders dropped 0.7 percent month-on-month after a 3.6 percent increase in May.
German business sentiment fell more than expected in August, reports said citing a monthly survey from the Ifo institute on Wednesday.
The business climate index fell to 108.7 in August from 112.9 in July. Economists were expecting it to fall to 111.