NEW YORK, Jan. 12 -- The U.S. dollar rose against major currencies in late New York trading on Wednesday as investors were concerned that the European Central Bank (ECB)'s possible move will weighed on the euro and optimism on U.S. economy lifted the greenback.
David Riley, the head of sovereign ratings for Fitch Ratings said Wednesday that the ECB should purchase more government bonds in order to save Italy and prevent a "cataclysmic" euro collapse. His comments raised concerns and pressured the euro.
The ECB is scheduled to hold its monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Analysts expected that the central bank would cut key interest rate in an effort to boost the European economy. The euro again dipped to below 1.27 against the dollar in midday trading on Wednesday.
On economic front, the Federal Reserve's Beige Book indicated that U.S. economic activity increased "at a modest to moderate pace" in the last month of 2011. The Fed's judgments were in line with recent U.S. positive economic data and lifted investors' confidence about the U.S. economic outlook. The dollar index gained 0.62 percent to 81.31 on Wednesday.
In late Wednesday trading, the dollar bought 76.87 Japanese yen, comparing with 76.82 from late Tuesday. The euro fell to 1.2697 dollars from 1.2790.
The British pound also fell to 1.5320 dollars from 1.5486. The dollar rose from 0.9485 Swiss francs to 0.9551, and also rose to 1. 0196 Canadian dollars from 1.0159.