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Forex - Dollar moves mixed to lower as U.S. trade deficit widens

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Shutterstock photo - - The dollar traded mixed to lower against most of its peers on Friday after the U.S. government reported the country's trade deficit widened in November, defying expectations for the gap to narrow.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was up 0.49% at 1.3336.

The U.S. government reported earlier that the country's trade deficit widened unexpectedly in November, expanding to USD48.7 billion from a USD42.1 billion deficit reported during the previous month.

Analysts had expected the trade deficit to narrow to USD41.3 billion in November, though gains in imports of consumer goods painted a picture of improving consumer demand in the U.S., which gave investors room to breathe easier and take on some risk, which weakened the greenback somewhat.

Consumer spending drives about 70% of total U.S. economic output.

Meanwhile, the euro continued to see support in wake of the ECB's unanimous decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 0.75% after a Thursday monetary policy meeting.

While most market participants were expecting the monetary authority to leave benchmark lending rates unchanged, not all did, while others were expecting more cautious language from ECB President Mario Draghi, who predicted recovery to gain steam later this year.

The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD trading down 0.31% at 1.6118.

The pound slumped against other currencies after government data revealed that U.K. manufacturing production fell unexpectedly in November, ticking down 0.03% after a 1.3% decline the previous month.

Analysts had expected manufacturing production to rise 0.5% in November.

In addition, industrial production in the U.K. rose 0.3% in November, less than the expected 0.8% increase, after a 0.9% contraction the previous month.

The dollar strengthened against the yen on Friday Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government announced plans to spend JPY20 trillion to stimulate the economy, with USD/JPY up 0.45% at 89.19.

The dollar, meanwhile, was down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading down 0.08% at 0.9134.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.10% at 0.9843, AUD/USD down 0.62% at 1.0531 and NZD/USD trading down 1.09% at 0.8364.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.23% at 79.64. - 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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