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Dollar mixed vs. rivals after positive U.S. housing data

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was mixed against the other major currencies on Friday, after the release of positive U.S. housing data, while markets still awaited a preliminary report on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

The dollar edged higher against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.15% to 1.3691.

Official data showed that U.S. building permits rose 8% to 1.080 million units last month, from an upwardly revised 1.000 million in March. Analysts had expected building permits to rise to 1.010 million units in April.

The report also showed that building starts rose to 1.072 million units in April, from 0.947 million in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated 0.946 million. Analysts had expected building starts to rise to 0.980 million units last month.

Meanwhile, the single currency remained under pressure after data on showed that the euro zone's gross domestic product grew just 0.2% in the first quarter, compared to expectations for growth of 0.4%. On a year-over-year basis the bloc's economy expanded 0.9%, falling short of expectations for growth of 1.1%.

A separate report showed that the bloc's annual rate of inflation was unchanged at 0.7% in April, in line with forecasts, but still well below the ECB's target of close to but just under 2%.

Investors also continued to monitor developments in Ukraine as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Russia it faced broader economic and industrial sanctions if it meddled in Ukraine's presidential elections on May 25.

The pound was higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD edging up 0.13% to 1.6812.

Sentiment on the pound remained vulnerable after the Bank of England on Wednesday left its forecasts for growth and inflation largely unchanged in its quarterly Inflation Report and indicated that it is still in no rush to hike interest rates.

The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY inching up 0.06% to 101.63 and higher against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF adding 0.12% to 0.8921.

The greenback was steady to higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD easing 0.02% to 0.9354, NZD/USD slipping 0.20% to 0.8626 and USD/CAD inching up 0.02% to 1.0886.

In Canada, official data showed that foreign securities purchases declined by C$1.23 billion in March, after a C$6.07 billion in increase in February, whose figure was revised down from a previously estimated C$6.08 billion rise.

Analysts had expected foreign securities purchases to rise by C$7.21 billion in March.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.10% to 80.17. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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