The dollar has been under pressure since the end of the previous trading week, but is attempting to rebound on Friday. The U.S. currency is rising slightly against its major European competitors and is holding steady against the Japanese Yen. The recent weakness has been due to fears that the Federal Reserve will act soon to begin tapering its stimulus measures.
With inventories of motor vehicles and parts showing a notable decrease, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing an unexpected drop in wholesale inventories in the month of June.
The report showed that wholesale inventories dipped by 0.2 percent following a revised 0.6 percent decrease in May. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected inventories to increase by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.5 percent decline originally reported for the previous month.
German economic activity is likely to have increased notably in the second quarter, supported by private consumption and investment in building construction, the country’s Economy Ministry said in a report on Friday.
The industrial sector has overcome its weakness with factory orders and sentiment indicators pointing to a continuation of a modest positive development, the ministry said.
The dollar dropped to a month and a half low of $1.3400 against the Euro on Thursday, but has climbed back to around $1.3375 on Friday.
Industrial production in France declined unexpectedly in June after recording a modest recovery in May that halted a downtrend of nearly a year-and-a-half, the latest figures from the statistical office Insee revealed Friday.
Overall production of the industrial sector fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in June, following a 0.9 percent gain in May. Economists had expected a further improvement with a growth of 1.5 percent. Prior to May, production has declined for 17 consecutive months.
The greenback similarly reached a month and a half low of $1.5574 against the pound sterling on Thursday, but has rebounded to around $1.5500 on Friday.
The U.K. visible trade deficit narrowed more-than-expected to a near 1-year low in June, thanks to record exports amid slower increase in imports. The deficit on goods trade declined to GBP 8.1 billion in June, the lowest since July 2012, from GBP 8.7 billion in May, the report released by the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.
The decrease of GBP 0.6 billion remains within the range of normal month-on-month movement, the ONS said. The number was also below the expected GBP 8.35 billion deficit.
The U.K.’s construction output increased notably in the second quarter of 2013, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics on Friday. The volume of construction output grew 1.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. Year-on-year, output fell 0.5 percent in the second quarter.
A leading indicator of the British economy declined modestly in June, after recording growth in the previous months, data released by the Conference Board showed Friday.
The leading economic index, a measure overall economic activity, dropped 0.2 percent sequentially to 104.8 in June. This followed increases of 0.4 percent and 0.2 percent respectively in May and April. Four of the seven components of the leading index made positive contributions.
The Bank of Japan expects to see moderate growth in exports and industrial production in the coming months, according to the central bank’s monthly report published Friday.
“Japan’s economy is expected to recover moderately on the back of the resilience in domestic demand and the pick-up in overseas economies,” the bank said.
Exports are expected to increase moderately supported by growth in overseas economies and industrial production is expected to continue increasing moderately, the report said.
The buck declined to a month and a half low of Y95.797 against the Japanese Yen on Thursday, but has risen to around Y96.300 on Friday.
Japan’s consumer confidence weakened unexpectedly to 43.6 in July from 44.3 in June, survey results from the Cabinet Office showed Friday. The reading was expected to improve to 45.
An index measuring tertiary industrial activity in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent on month in June, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday, standing at 100.6. That beat forecasts for a contraction of 0.4 percent on month following the 1.2 percent jump in May.