Dollar trades mixed against major currencies

The dollar traded mixed against other major currencies Thursday after new data showed a slowdown in U.S. industrial production in May.

The euro bought $1.2609 in afternoon trading in New York, up from $1.2602 in New York late Wednesday. The British pound also rose to $1.8472 from $1.8431.

The dollar edged up against the Japanese currency, rising to 115.00 yen from 114.99 late Wednesday.

In other trading, the dollar bought 1.2326 Swiss francs, up from 1.2307 late Wednesday, and 1.1150 Canadian dollars, up from 1.1135.

The Federal Reserve reported Thursday that output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities dropped by 0.1 percent last month following an increase of 0.8 percent in April. It was the first drop since a similar 0.1 percent fall in January.

Economists believe that manufacturing, which had finally started to recover from the 2001 recession, will slow in coming months as overall economic growth slows.

The dollar has mostly rebounded in the last two weeks following hawkish comments on inflation from Federal Reserve officials. At the Economic Club of Chicago, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated Thursday that the central bank will be vigilant against inflation as energy prices remain high and push up prices of other goods and services.

To stave off inflation, the Fed has increased interest rates 16 consecutive times since June 2004, which has also boosted the dollar. Higher rates tend to bolster a currency by giving better returns on certain types of investments, reports AP.

O.Ch.