U.S. dollar on track for losing week
The U.S. dollar weakened slightly across the board in Friday trading, reversing a move higher the previous day that had snapped a four-day losing streak and leaving a closely followed index on track for a weekly loss.
A popular gauge for the greenback headed lower after many mixed U.S. economic data.
The Empire state manufacturing index fell to 3.7 from 8.8 beforehand in March, and industrial production in February only expanded by 0.1%, less than the 0.4% expected. Capacity utilization for February was more or less in line with estimates at 78.2%, and job openings in January rose to the third-highest level on record at 7.6 million. Consumer sentiment for March climbed to 97.5, beating expectations of 95.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.22% was last down 0.3% at 96.507, on track for a 0.8% drop for the week.
The British pound GBPUSD, +0.3172% had a volatile week, including its biggest one-day percentage rise in nearly two years that pushed it to a nine-month peak. For the week, sterling is up 2% against the dollar, according to FactSet data. It last fetched $1.3274, compared with $1.3242.
The Brexit drama, meanwhile, keeps on giving following three key votes on the issue in the U.K.’s Parliament this week. Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, ruled out any no-deal Brexit at any point, and supported a motion to extend the March 29 deadline when the U.K. is set to leave the European Union.
May will bring a third vote on her deal next week. If it goes through, the U.K. will seek a deadline extension until June 30. If not, the extension will likely be longer as lawmakers will have to go back to the drawing board.
The euro EURUSD, +0.2653% steadily recovered since the European Central Bank meeting last week Thursday, which led the shared currency to slide to its lowest since June 2017. One euro last bought $1.1341, compared with $1.1307, up 0.6% for the week.
In Japan, the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged, in line with expectations. The BOJ is widely considered to be the most dovish major central bank, and with little momentum in the Japanese economy, an end to its loose policies doesn’t seem in sight.
The Japanese yen USDJPY, -0.24% strengthened against the dollar, with one buck buying ¥111.44, down 0.2%.
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