Investing.com - The dollar hit a new high for 2019 against most major currencies Friday as discouraging comments on trade from President Donald Trump spooked the stock market.
Trump said Friday it was "probably too soon" to meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, dampening hopes that a deal can be reached to stop a new round of U.S. import tariffs on Chinese imports coming into force in March. The news has shaken confidence in a market that enthusiastically bought into some more positive-sounding comments from lower-ranked officials last week.
The dollar is now on its longest winning streak in more than two years, having risen for seven sessions in a row. That said, its gains against individual currencies such as the euro and yen have been relatively modest.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of developed currencies, hit a 2019 high of 96.477 before edging down slightly to 96.355 by 10:35 AM ET (1535 GMT).
The retracement was due largely to a rise in the loonie after a surprisingly strong Canadian jobs report for January. Canadian data for housing starts also surprised to the upside, bookending a week that started with the strongest building permit data in 18 months. The loonie rose nearly a cent after the jobs report but retraced later to 1.3269 against its U.S. counterpart.
Elsewhere, the dollar edged down against the ruble as the Russian central bank warned of upside risks to inflation after leaving its key interest rate unchanged at 7.75%. But it rose against the Brazilian real amid fears that the country's export earnings could be hit by a fall in iron ore exports in the wake of last month's fatal dam collapse.
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