The Australian and New Zealand dollars moved lower against their U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, despite the release of upbeat Australian economic growth data, as expectations for a March rate hike in the U.S. continued to lend broad support to the greenback.
AUD/USD slipped 0.17% to a two-week low of 0.7643.
Earlier Wednesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said gross domestic product rose by 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016, beating expectations for a growth rate of 0.7%, after a contraction of 0.5% in the three months to September.
Year-on-year, Australia’s economy grew 2.4% in the last quarter, compared to expectations for 1.9%.
NZD/USD tumbled 1.20% to 0.7104, the lowest since January 17.
The greenback found broad support after Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan reiterated his view on Monday that a rate hike should come sooner rather than later in order to curb rising inflation.
New York Fed President William Dudley said that the case for tightening monetary policy "has become a lot more compelling".
Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that a rate increase was very much on the table for serious consideration at the March meeting given full employment and accelerating inflation.
Later Tuesday, in a highly-anticipated speech to the Congress, U.S. President Donald Trump announced broad overhaul of the U.S. immigration system and vowed to pursue massive tax relief for the middle class but stopped short of giving any details.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.34% at a two-week high of 100.94.