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Forex - Dollar gains as consumer sentiment data beats market consensus

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar strengthened against most major currencies on Friday after a widely-watched U.S. consumer sentiment gauge beat expectations and refueled expectations for the Federal Reserve to begin scaling back stimulus measures soon.

Stimulus programs such as the Fed's monthly USD85 billion bond-buying program weaken the greenback to spur recovery, and talk of their winding down can send the dollar rising.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.51% at 1.2980.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final consumer sentiment index rose to 84.5 in May from 83.7 in April.

Analysts were expecting the index to remain unchanged this month, which gave the dollar room to flex its muscles.

A separate report showed that the Chicago purchasing managers' index climbed to 58.7 this month from 49.0 in April, beating expectations for a rise to 50.0.

Elsewhere, official data revealed that U.S. personal spending fell 0.2% in April, defying expectations for a 0.1% rise and following a 0.1% increase the previous month, though markets shrugged off the data.

Soft economic indicators in Europe boosted the safe-haven dollar's appeal even more.

The eurozone's unemployment rate hit a record high 12.2% in April, up from 12.1% the previous month and in line with expectations.

Separately, a preliminary report showed that the eurozone's consumer price index rose to an annualized rate of 1.4% this month, from 1.2% in April, also in line with expectations.

In Germany, Destatits reported that retail sales in Europe's largest economy fell 0.4% in April, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% rise after a 0.1% decline the previous month, which weakened the euro further.

The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD trading down 0.33% at 1.5184.

The dollar was flat against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.01% at 100.72 in choppy trading, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading up 0.60% at 0.9590.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.69% at 1.0368, AUD/USD down 0.90% at 0.9576 and NZD/USD trading down 1.60% at 0.8077.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.43% at 83.41. - 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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