Dollar gains on solid U.S. consumer sentiment data


Shutterstock photo - - The greenback firmed against most major currencies on Friday after investors applauded a widely-watched gauge of consumer sentiment.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.41% at 1.3449.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of U.S. consumer sentiment came in at 81.2 in January, beating expectations for a 81.0 reading.

Also in the U.S. official data revealed consumer spending rose 0.4% in December, beating expectations for a 0.2% reading though personal income came in unchanged, missing expectations for a 0.0% gain.

The data kept expectations firm that the Federal Reserve will continue tapering its monthly bond-buying program as the year progresses.

Currently, the Fed is buying USD65 billion in Treasury and mortgage debt a month from banks, which weakens the dollar to spur recovery.

The program began in 2012, starting out at USD85 billion in Fed asset purchases a month.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.36% at 102.35, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.33% at 0.9058.

Concerns the emerging markets may be cooling, as evidenced by soft Chinese manufacturing data, have weakened emerging-market currencies and roiled stock markets worldwide, though the yen has served as the safe-haven currency of choice during the turbulence.

Japanese data also supported the yen on Friday.

According to figures released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's industrial production in December rose by 1.1% against the expected rise of 1.2% but up from a previous fall of 0.1%.

Also in Japan, the Statistics Bureau reported that country's headline and core consumer price indices both remained unchanged at 0.7%, in line with expectations.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.31% at 1.6434.

The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.30% at 1.1124, AUD/USD down 0.55% at 0.8748 and NZD/USD down 1.00% at 0.8085.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.23% at 81.36. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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