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Dollar mixed vs. rivals, U.S. jobs data in focus

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Shutterstock photo - The U.S. dollar was mixed against the other major currencies on Friday, as investors awaited the release of highly anticipated U.S. jobs data later in the day, while Thursday's remarks by European Central Bank head Mario Draghi mildly supported sentiment.

During European early afternoon trade, the dollar was lower against the euro, with EUR/USD adding 0.10% to 1.3122.

The single currency came under pressure after official data showed that industrial production in Germany was flat in January, disappointing expectations for a 0.5% rise, after a 0.6% increase the previous month.

Sentiment on the euro remained mildly supported however, after ECB President Draghi said monetary policy will remain firmly accommodative and added that confidence was returning to financial markets.

Speaking at the ECB's post-policy meeting press conference, Draghi said policymakers discussed a rate cut but the "prevailing consensus" was to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.75%.

The greenback was also lower against the pound, with GBP/USD edging up 0.10% to 1.5030.

Earlier in the day, the Bank of England said that consumer inflation expectations ticked up to 3.6% in the fourth quarter, from 3.5% in the previous quarter.

The report came after BoE policymakers voted on Thursday to leave interest rates on hold at a record low 0.5% and keep the size of its asset purchase program unchanged at GBP375 billion.

Elsewhere, the greenback was sharply higher against the yen, with USD/JPY advancing 0.84% to trade at 95.63, and little changed against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF dipping 0.01% to 0.9425.

Official data earlier showed that consumer price inflation in Switzerland rose 0.3% in February, in line with expectations, after a 0.3% decline the previous month.

In Japan, the Cabinet Office said the country's gross domestic product was flat in the fourth quarter, in line with expectations, following a 0.1% contraction in the previous quarter.

The report came after data showed that Japan's current account surplus rose unexpectedly to JPY0.36 trillion in January from a surplus of JPY0.11 trillion the previous month. Analysts had expected the current account surplus to remain unchanged in January.

The greenback was steady to higher against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD adding 0.17% to 1.0311, AUD/USD inching 0.01% lower to 1.0268 and NZD/USD easing 0.01% to 0.8283.

The export-linked currencies found support earlier, after official data showed that China's trade surplus narrowed less-than-expected in February, falling to USD15.3 billion from a surplus of USD29.2 the previous month. Analysts had expected the trade balance to fall into a deficit of USD8.8 billion last month.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.03% to 82.15.

Later in the day, the U.S. was publish government data on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, as well as data on average hourly earnings. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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