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Dollar softens on disappointing U.S. output data

ForexFeb 14, 2014 03:04PM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - The greenback traded lower against most major currencies on Friday after data revealed output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities missed expectations for January, though a rather upbeat consumer sentiment report cushioned the dollar's losses.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was up 0.13% at 1.3698.

Less-than-stellar economic indicators hitting the wire in the U.S. this week softened the greenback by reminding investors the Federal Reserve won't rush to taper the pace of its monthly bond purchases, which tend to weaken the currency by keeping long-term interest rates low.

Earlier Friday, the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index remained unchanged at 81.2 for February, beating expectations for a fall to 80.6, which gave the greenback some support.

However, the Federal Reserve reported that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% in January, defying expectations for a 0.3% rise after a 0.3% increase the previous month.

Data also showed that U.S. import prices rose 0.1% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.1% downtick after a 0.2% rise in December.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales fell 0.4% in January, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase. December’s figure was revised down to a decline of 0.1% from a previously reported 0.2% increase.

Last Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, less than an expected 185,000 increase.

The euro strengthened after preliminary data showed that the euro area's gross domestic product expanded by 0.3% in the fourth-quarter, beating expectations for a 0.2% gain, after a 0.1% rise in the third quarter.

A separate report showed that German GDP rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% expansion, and after a 0.3% rise in the three months to September.

In France, the GDP expanded by 0.3% in the last quarter, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.1% contraction in the third quarter.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.27% at 101.90, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.20% at 0.8918.

The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.50% at 1.6741.

The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.05% at 1.0981, AUD/USD up 0.62% at 0.9036 and NZD/USD up 0.37% at 0.8372.

In Canada, official data showed that manufacturing sales fell 0.9% in December compared to expectations for a 0.3% rise. Manufacturing sales in November were revised down to a 0.5% gain from a previously estimated 1% increase.

Also Friday, official data showed that consumer price inflation in China rose 1% last month, exceeding expectations for a 0.7% gain, after a 0.3% uptick in December.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.22% at 80.18.   

Dollar softens on disappointing U.S. output data

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