By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar held near three-week highs against a basket of major currencies on Friday after a raft of strong U.S. economic data rekindled expectations for earlier policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in August, rising 0.7% from the previous month despite expectations of a 0.8% fall, while business sentiment survey by the Philadelphia Fed also showed a big improvement.
“Yesterday’s data were pretty strong across the board,” said Yujiro Goto, chief currency strategist at Nomura Securities. “The markets had been worried that consumption would be weak in August because of the Delta variant. But retail sales were surprisingly…