The US dollar index (DXY) climbed to its highest level since March 19, as the British pound reversed Wednesday’s gains and the euro fell below a key support line.
The dollar index, a trade-weighted average of the dollar against a basket of six currencies, climbed 1.1 percent to 99.03.
The GBPUSD plunged more than 170 pips, falling below 1.4700. The pair took a beating after the Bank of England voted to keep interest rates at 0.5 percent, marking the first time since 1950 that rates were left unchanged for the duration of parliament. The last time the BOE adjusted interest rates was more than six years ago when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister.
Britain heads to the polls to elect a new government on May 7.
The EURUSD extended losses in US trade, falling nearly 140 pips to 1.0648, after the Greek government confirmed a €450 million payment to the International Monetary Fund.
The greenback rallied against the Canadian dollar, which failed to capitalize on rising oil prices. The USDCAD climbed nearly half a percent to 1.2600.
Canadian building permits declined unexpectedly in February, falling for a second consecutive month on non-residential weakness. Building permits tumbled 0.9 percent after plunging 12.9 percent in January, Statistics Canada reported on Thursday. A median estimate of economists called for a 5 percent gain.