By Aaron Hankin
The U.S. dollar was holding near a two-week high on Friday, in a quiet session for currencies with most major U.S. and global exchanges closed for the observance of Good Friday.
The ICE Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against six major rivals, was last at 97.369, down 0.1% since late Thursday. The index hit an intraday high at 97.43, its highest level since April 5, according to data from FactSet.
"The recent stream of better-than-expected data, including the surprise narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit in February, have prompted upward revisions to U.S. Q1 GDP forecasts, due a week from today. Further signs that the world's largest economy is experiencing a cushioned slowdown, could help boost the greenback, as economic conditions in other major developed countries remain fragile," wrote Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.
The British pound was oscillating either side of $1.30, last changing hands at $1.2997 compared to $1.2978 late on Thursday.
"GBP/USD continues to trade around $1.30 without much direction and shifts in domestic politics this week have been net neutral. Labour have moved clearly ahead as the likely winner of the next election (with the bookies and in the polls), but the likelihood of an election has itself fallen (32% probability in 2019)," wrote Adam Cole, currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
Elsewhere, the euro was marginally higher versus the dollar at $1.1247 and the Japanese yen was unchanged at Yen111.92.
In economic news, housing starts for the month of March fell 0.3% to an annualized rate of 1.139 million, while building permits fell 1.7% to a 1.269 million rate.