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Dollar mixed on waning Ukraine fears, hit-or-miss U.S. factory data

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar traded mixed against most major currencies on Monday as investors applauded waning fears that the Ukraine standoff will escalate, hit-or-miss U.S. production data softened the greenback.

In U.S. trading on Monday, EUR/USD was up 0.07% at 1.3923.

Investors spent the session digesting events in Europe, after over 90% of Crimean voters on Sunday chose to break with Ukraine and join Russia. Crimea's Parliament on Monday formally asked to join the Russian Federation.

Sanctions followed as expected.

European Union foreign ministers imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the push to have Crimea secede from Ukraine and be annexed by Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama also imposed sanctions on several Russian officials involved in the incursion of Crimea, which included freezing assets in the U.S.

Still, markets were expecting more widespread action from the West, and the response enticed investors away from safe-haven gold positions, which softened the precious metal.

Gold has served as a safe-haven of choice during the Ukraine crisis, and the dollar found room to rise somewhat as gold fell, as the two assets tend to trade inversely with one another.

Hit-or-miss U.S. economic indicators watered down gains.

Data revealed earlier that U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain. Industrial production in January was revised to a 0.2% fall from a previously estimated 0.3% decline.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State manufacturing index ticked up to 5.6 this month from 4.5 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 6.0.

The conflicting data sent many to the sidelines awaiting the Federal Reserve's March decision on monetary policy due out on Wednesday, the first under new Chair Janet Yellen.

Meanwhile in Europe, official data revealed earlier that the euro zone's consumer price index rose 0.3% last month, below expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 1.1% decline in January.

Year-on-year, consumer price inflation rose 0.7% in February, compared to expectations for a 0.8% increase, after a 0.8% gain in January.

However, core consumer price inflation, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco, rose 0.5% in February, after a 1.7% fall the previous month and in line with market expectations.

The euro zone's core consumer price index rose 1.0% in February, also in line with expectations.

Monetary authorities pay close attention to core consumer prices when deciding policy.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.39% at 101.75, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.10% at 0.8730.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.08% at 1.6632.

The dollar was down against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.45% at 1.1055, AUD/USD up 0.60% at 0.9086 and NZD/USD up 0.40% at 0.8568.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.03% at 79.50.

On Tuesday, the U.S. is to produce data on consumer inflation, in addition to reports on building permits and housing starts. 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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