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Dollar trades at fresh 12-year highs vs. rivals, U.S. data ahead

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar was hovering at fresh 12-year highs against the other major currencies on Friday, as news of a large scale stimulus program by the European Central Bank continued to weigh on risk-related currencies and as investors eyed upcoming U.S. data.

EUR/USD tumbled 1.19% to fresh 11-year lows of 1.1227. The euro remained under broad selling pressure after ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday said it will make monthly purchases of €60 billion per month, starting in March and continuing until late 2016.

The single currency shrugged off data on Friday showing that the Markit preliminary composite purchasing managers' index, which measures activity in the manufacturing and services sectors in the euro area, rose to 52.2 this month from a reading of 51.4 in December.

Analysts had expected the index to rise to 51.8 in January.

In Germany, the preliminary manufacturing PMI ticked down to 51.0 this month from 51.2 in December, compared to expectations for a rise to 51.7, while the preliminary services PMI rose to 52.7 in January from 52.1 the previous month, exceeding expectations for a rise to 52.5.

Markit also said that France's preliminary manufacturing PMI rose to 49.5 this month from 47.5 in December, beating expectations for a rise to 48.1, while the services PMI fell to 49.5 in January from a reading of 50.6 the previous month, confounding expectations for an increase to 50.7.

The pound slipped to new 18-month lows against the dollar, with GBP/USD down 0.16% to 1.4984.

Sterling showed little reaction to an earlier report by the Office for National Statistics showing that U.K. retail sales rose 0.4% in December, beating expectations for a 0.6% decline, after a 1.6% increase the previous month.

Year-on-year, retail sales increased by 4.3% last month, more than the expected 3.0% rise, after a 6.4% advance in November.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY fell 0.25% to 118.21, while USD/CHF rose 0.21% to 0.8727.

The commodity-linked currencies were broadly weaker . AUD/USD dropped 0.80% to five-and-a-half year lows at 0.7959 and NZD/USD declined 0.45% to trade at two-and-a-half year lows of 0.7468. USD/CAD gained 0.33% to 1.2421, hovering at a nearly six-year peak.

Also Friday, data showed that the China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index came in at 49.8 in January, compared to December's final of 49.6, while the January flash output index ticked up to 50.1 from 49.9 in December, placing it just in expansion territory above 50.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.54% to a fresh 12-year high of 95.21.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity and a private sector report on existing home sales. 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.

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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