The dollar was almost unchanged against a basket of other major currencies on Thursday, following a steep selloff sparked by fears over risk from political instability in Greece and new restrictions on China’s debt markets, while investors eyed upcoming U.S. data. EUR/USD held steady at 1.2456, as investors remained cautious following a surprise decision by the Greek government to bring forward a parliamentary vote for president to next week from February. Markets were spooked by the risk of snap elections which could take place if Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ candidate is not approved by parliament, which could see the anti-bailout Syriza party take power. But the dollar still remained supported after last week’s strong U.S. jobs report for November prompted investors to bring forward expectations for the first hike in interest rates to mid-2015 from September 2015. USD/JPY advanced 0.68% to 118.61, holding above Tuesday’s lows of 117.92 after data showed that Japan core machinery orders dropped 6.4% in October, compared to expectations for a 1.9% decline, after a 2.9% rise in September. The Swiss franc edged higher against the dollar and the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.16% to 0.9648 and EUR/CHF slipping 0.11% to 1.2015 after the Swiss National Bank left rates unchanged and reiterated that it will defend the 1.20 per euro exchange rate cap. The SNB left rates unchanged at zero to 0.25% and warned that deflation risks have risen. It noted that appreciably lower oil prices will push inflation into negative territory during the next four quarters. The bank said it now expects inflation to be flat this year and to grow just 0.1% in 2015, down from a previous forecast of 0.2%. The bank also reiterated its pledge to defend the exchange rate floor against the euro with the “utmost determination”. It is prepared to buy foreign currency in “unlimited quantities” for this purpose. The pound was lower, with GBP/USD sliding 0.33% to 1.5663. The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were steady to lower, with AUD/USD declining 0.38% to 0.8285 and NZD/USD down 0.05% to trade at 0.7818, while USD/CAD dipped 0.03% to 1.1478. In a widely expected move, the RBNZ held its benchmark interest rate at 3.50%, but added that “some further increase in the official cash rate is expected to be required at a later stage.” The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was steady at 88.29, not far from Monday’s five-year high of 89.53. Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on retail sales, as well as the weekly report on jobless claims.