Investing.com - The dollar edged lower against a basket of the other major currencies on Thursday, a day before the U.S. and China were to hit each other with import tariffs, escalating a trade spat that many investors fear will hurt global growth.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.11% to 94.09 by 03:36 AM ET (07:36 AM GMT).

Investors remained cautious ahead of Friday’s deadline for the U.S. to impose a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, which Beijing has vowed to match with a levy on U.S. products.

China's commerce ministry warned Thursday that the U.S. is "opening fire" on the world with its threatened tariffs, and reiterated that it will respond the instant U.S. measures go into effect.

With U.S. markets reopening after the July 4th holiday, investors were turning their attention to what was set to be a busy end to the week, with minutes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting due out later on Thursday and the U.S. employment report for June scheduled for Friday.

The dollar was a touch higher against the yen, with USD/JPY edging up 0.12% to 110.64.

The euro rose to near three-week highs, with EUR/USD rising 0.29% to 1.1691.

The single currency was boosted after data showing that German industrial orders rebounded strongly in May, snapping four straight months of declines as demand in Germany and the rest of the euro area picked up.

China’s yuan remained steady after China’s central bank pledged earlier in the week to keep the exchange stable, in a bid to calm markets which have been roiled by fears over the fallout from the trade dispute.

The pound edged higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.13% to 1.3243, but was lower against the firmer euro, with EUR/GBP rising 0.19% to 0.8825.

The trade sensitive Australian dollar was treading water, with AUD/USD last at 0.7382, while the New Zealand dollar was slightly higher, with NZD/USD adding on 0.19% to trade at 0.6675.