Dollar mostly lower vs. rivals after U.S. economic reports

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Investing.com - The dollar remained mostly lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as the release of mixed U.S. economic reports weighed on demand for the greenback.

The dollar was lower against the euro, with EUR/USD up 0.67% to 1.3802.

Data showed that Chicago's purchasing managers' index rose to a four month-high of 59.8 in February, from a reading of 59.6 the previous month, compared to expectations for a fall to 57.0.

In a revised report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 81.6 this month, from a reading of 81.3 in January. Analysts had expected the index to edge up to 81.3 in February.


Separately, industry data showed that U.S. pending home sales rose 0.1% in January, confounding expectations for a 2% increase. Pending home sales in December were revised to a 5.8% drop from a previously estimated 8.7% decline.

The reports came after preliminary data showed that the U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.4% in the fourth quarter, slightly below expectations for a 2.5% expansion, after a 3.2% increase in the three months to September.

The single currency strengthened earlier, after preliminary data showed that consumer price inflation in the euro zone remained unchanged at an annualized rate of 0.8% in February, compared for expectations for a downtick to 0.7%.

A separate report showed that the unemployment rate in the single currency bloc remained unchanged at 12% in January, in line with expectations.

The positive data eased speculation that the European Central Bank could cut interest rates at its policy meeting next week.

The pound was higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.35% to 1.6747.

The Nationwide Building Society earlier said that U.K. house price inflation rose 0.6% in February, in line with expectations. In January, house price inflation was revised up to a 0.8% increase from a previously estimated 0.7% rise.

The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY inching up 0.03% to 102.16 and lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF declining 0.87% to 0.8806.

In Japan, preliminary data showed that industrial production in Japan rose 4% in January, more than the expected 3% increase, after a 0.9% gain the previous month.

A separate report showed that retail sales in Japan rose 4.4% last month compared to a year earlier, after a 2.6% increase in December. Analysts had expected retail sales to rise 3.8% in January.

Data also showed that household spending in Japan rose at an annualized rate of 1.1% last month, beating expectations for a 0.2% uptick, after a 0.7% rise in December.

The greenback was mixed to lower against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD down 0.29% to 0.8940, NZD/USD gaining 0.36% to 0.8400 and USD/CAD shedding 0.49% to 1.1068.

Data showed that the ANZ business confidence index for New Zealand rose to a nearly 20-year high of 70.8 in February, from a reading of 64.1 the previous month.

In Canada, official data showed that the GDP fell 0.5% in December, compared to expectations for a 0.2% contraction, after a 0.2% expansion the previous month.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.57% to 79.83.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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