Dollar index edges lower as UoM report disappoints

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar edged lower against the other major currencies on Friday, as downbeat U.S. consumer sentiment data added to concerns over the strength of the country’s economic recovery.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell to 93.6 this month from 98.1 in January. Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged in February.

The UoM also said its inflation expectations for the next 12 months ticked up to 2.8% in February from 2.5% last month.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.13% to 94.17.

EUR/USD held steady near a one-week high at 1.1405. The euro remained supported after preliminary data showed that the euro zone’s gross domestic product rose 0.3% in the last quarter of 2014, exceeding expectations for a growth rate of 0.2% and up from 0.2% in the previous quarter.

An earlier report showed that German GDP rose 0.7% in the last quarter, beating expectations for a 0.3% increase and up from a growth rate of 0.1% in the three months to September.

Data also showed that France’s GDP rose 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014, in line with expectations, after the economy grew 0.4% in the previous quarter.

Investors continued to focus on developments in Greece after talks with European Union officials ended without an agreement on Wednesday, though both sides said there was still hope for a deal. Further talks are due to be held next Monday.

Greece’s current bailout is due to expire on February 28 and the new Greek government does not want it extended, fuelling fears over a conflict with its creditors which could trigger the country’s exit from the euro zone.

The pound rose to more than one-month highs against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.08% at 1.5401.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY slid 0.30% to 118.76, while USD/CHF was almost unchanged at 0.9311.

In Switzerland, data on Friday showed that producer price inflation fell 0.6% in January, in line with expectations, after a 0.4% decline the previous month.

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars moved higher, with AUD/USD climbing 0.41% to 0.7767 and NZD/USD gaining 0.38% to 0.7452, while USD/CAD dropped 0.55% to 1.2439.

Statistics Canada earlier reported that manufacturing sales rose 1.7% in December, beating expectations for a 0.9% fall. November’s figure was revised to a 1.3% decline from a previously estimated 1.4% drop.

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