Dollar gains on upbeat U.S. personal spending data

A A A - - Solid personal spending data in the U.S. sent the dollar firming against most major currencies on Friday, though profit taking cooled the greenback's gains.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was up 0.07% at 1.3751.

The Commerce Department reported earlier Friday that U.S. personal spending rose 0.3% in February, in line with expectations, Personal spending in January was revised down to a 0.2% gain from a previously estimated 0.4% increase.

A separate report showed that the core U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index remained unchanged at 0.1% last month, in line with expectations.

Elsewhere the revised Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index ticked up to 80.0 in March from 79.9 the previous month. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 80.5 this month.

Still the dollar rose, as the largely positive data came a day after economic reports showed that U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest level since late November last week, while U.S. economic fourth quarter growth was revised higher.

Market sentiment remained firm that the Federal Reserve will continue winding down stimulus programs this year and begin raising benchmark interest rates from their current rock-bottom levels some time in 2015.

Meanwhile in the euro zone, preliminary data revealed that Germany's consumer price index rose 0.3% in March, missing expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 0.5% gain in February.

Data also showed that French consumer spending rose 0.1% in February, less than the expected 0.8% increase, after a 2.1% decline the previous month.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.63% at 102.82, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.02% at 0.8868.

The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.20% at 1.6644.

The pound firmed against the dollar after data showed that U.K. gross domestic product rose by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations.

A separate report showed that the U.K. current account deficit narrowed to £22.4 billion in the fourth quarter, from £22.8 billion in third quarter, whose figure was revised down from a previously estimated deficit of £20.7 billion.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.29% at 1.1064, AUD/USD down 0.09% at 0.9250 and NZD/USD down 0.14% at 0.8660.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.08% at 80.35. 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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