The dollar was mixed Thursday, failing to rally despite hawkish comments from a top Federal Reserve official.
Inflation looks likely to rise back to 2 percent later this year, allowing the Fed to hike interest rates by the end of the first quarter 2015, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said in an interview on the Fox Business Network.
Bullard’s remarks overshadowed the release of a Commerce Department report showing weaker than expected spending growth in the month of May.
The Commerce Department said spending edged up by 0.2 percent in May after coming in unchanged in April. Economists had expected spending to increase by 0.4 percent.
The British sterling was the best performer among currencies, as the Bank of England tightened lending norms to the housing sector.
The dollar dropped to $1.7045, pausing near last week’s 5-year lows against the sterling.
The BoE’s Financial Policy Committee said that it would only allow 15 percent of new mortgages to be at multiples higher than 4.5 times a borrower’s income, hoping to stop bubbles in the U.K. housing market.
The dollar also came under pressure versus the yen amid increased risk aversion. The buck slipped to Y101.50, near the lower end of a stubborn trading range.
Gradual gains took the dollar to $1.3590 versus the slumping euro.