The U.S. dollar edged down on Friday in Asia but still hovered near a two-week high following the release of robust U.S. housing data and a better-than-expected weekly jobless claims report.
The U.S. Dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was trading at 97.640 by 12:11 AM ET (04:11 GMT), down 0.04%.
The dollar rose earlier in the day after data showed that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to 212,000 from the week prior, indicating that the U.S. economy continues to be strong despite the ongoing trade dispute with China.
U.S. homebuilding also increased more than expected in April. Housing starts rose 5.7% to 1.235 million units last month, data showed.
Meanwhile, CNBC reported citing data from UBS that China sold off its U.S. Treasury holdings at the fastest pace in about two years during March.
China’s stockpile of U.S. government notes, bonds and bills fell by $67.2 billion, a 5.6% decline, the CNBC reported, noting that more aggressive action to cutting could further aggravate trade negotiations.
The GBP/USD pair fell 0.02% to 1.2791. The pair was under pressure after reports that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will step down over the summer regardless of whether or not her Brexit withdrawal agreement passes. The prime minister has previously said she would step down if the plan is passed.
The USD/JPY pair slipped 0.1% to 109.71.
The USD/CNY pair gained 0.4% to 6.9059 as the yuan continues to weaken amid escalating trade tensions.