Investing.com - The dollar firmed against most major currencies
on Friday after data revealed more new homes were sold in the U.S.
in April than markets were anticipating.
In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.18% at 1.3632.
The housing sector, which threw the U.S. economy into the worst
downturn since the Great Depression and lagged on its recovery for
years, is on the mend.
The Census Bureau reported earlier that U.S. new home sales rose
6.4% to 433,000 units in April from 407,000 units in March, whose
figure was revised up from a previously estimated 384,000. Analysts
had expected new home sales to rise to 425,000 units last
A day earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported
that existing home sales increased 1.3% in April to an annual rate
of 4.65 million units, and hopes that the U.S. housing sector is
improving strengthened demand for the dollar on Friday.
Meanwhile, the euro came under pressure after the Ifo Institute
for Economic Research reported earlier that its German business
climate index ticked down to a five-month low of 110.4 in May, from
a reading of 111.2 the previous month. Analysts had expected the
index to fall to 110.9.
The report came a day after data showed that manufacturing
activity in the euro zone expanded at its slowest rate in six
months in May, although the region's service sector expanded at the
fastest rate in almost three years.
Also in Europe, Germany's first-quarter gross domestic product
grew 0.8% from the previous quarter and 2.5% on year, the first
figure in line with expectations though the on-year figure beat
market calls for a 2.3% growth rate.
The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.25% at
101.98 and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.15% at
The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.23%
The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia
and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.21% at 1.0872, AUD/USD up
0.10% at 0.9236 and NZD/USD down 0.28% at 0.8542.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up
0.17% at 80.42.
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