The dollar is attempting to rebound from some recent weakness against its major competitors at the end of the trading week. The U.S. currency was under pressure yesterday after investor concerns over Fed tapering resurfaced. However, the dollar has begun to rebound following the release of the weaker than expected U.S. consumer sentiment report.
New home construction in the U.S. was up sharply in July, according to date released by the Commerce Department Friday morning. However, the rise in housing starts was not as large as many economists were predicting.
Construction on new U.S. homes rose 5.9 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000. The consensus forecast called for July housing starts to increase 8.9 percent to an annual rate of 910,000.
The Commerce Department also said building permits rose 2.7 percent in July to an annual rate of 943,000.
U.S. employees were more productive and worked longer hours in the second quarter, the Labor Department said Friday. Productivity rose at a 0.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter, beating expectations for a modest 0.7 percent increase.
Labor costs increased 1.4 percent in the second quarter of 2013, due in part to a 2.3 percent increase in hourly pay.
Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan released the preliminary reading on U.S. consumer sentiment for August this morning. The consumer sentiment index dropped to a reading of 80.0, from the final July reading of 85.1. The drop surprised economists, who had expected the index to rise to a reading of 85.5.
The dollar dropped to a 1-week low of $1.3379 against the Euro on Friday, but has since bounced back to around $1.3325.
Eurozone’s annual inflation stayed unchanged in July as estimated earlier, final data released by the Eurostat showed Friday. The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) increased 1.6 percent on an annual basis in July, which was unchanged from the growth recorded in June. The outcome also matched the preliminary estimates.
Eurozone exports expanded in June after falling for two consecutive months, data published by Eurostat showed Friday. Exports advanced 3 percent in June from May, when it decreased by 2.6 percent. Likewise, imports rose 2.5 percent, offsetting the 2.1 percent fall in May.
As a result, the trade surplus increased to a seasonally adjusted EUR 14.9 billion from EUR 13.8 billion in May.
The Eurozone current account surplus declined in June mainly due to a fall in visible trade surplus, monthly data from the European Central Bank showed Friday. The current account surplus decreased to a seasonally adjusted EUR 16.9 billion from EUR 19.5 billion in May.
A leading indicator of the French economy has maintained its upward trend that began at the beginning of the year, before stabilizing in June, indicating that the economy is set to continue the recovery at a modest rate in the near term, data released by the Conference Board showed Friday.
The leading economic index stayed unchanged month-on-month at 115.3 in June, after recording a 0.5 percent growth in May.
The greenback fell to nearly a 2-month low of $1.5656 against the pound sterling on Friday, but has since risen back to around $1.5620.
The buck dropped to a 2-session low of Y97.038 against the Japanese Yen on Thursday, but has since rebounded to around Y97.565.