The dollar is little changed overall in comparison to its major competitors Friday. On what has turned out to be a volatile trading session for equities, currencies have remained stable. U.S. economic data was mixed at the end of the trading week.
While the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing another modest increase in U.S. consumer prices in the month of March, prices rose by slightly less than economists had anticipated. The Labor Department said its consumer price index edged up by 0.2 percent in March, matching the increase seen in February. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3 percent.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has improved by more than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday. The report showed that the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for April came in at 95.9 compared to the final March reading of 93.0. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 94.0.
The Conference Board released a report Friday morning showing a continued increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of March, although the index rose by less than economists had expected. The report said the leading economic index increased by 0.2 percent in March following a downwardly revised 0.1 percent uptick in February.
Economists had been expecting the index to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.2 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Investors continue to monitor the situation in Greece. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble refused further concessions to Greece and the International Monetary Fund ruled out giving the country any leeway on 1 billion euros of debt repayments due by early May.
Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reportedly said he was “firmly optimistic” that there will be an agreement with creditors by the end of April. As per the Eurogroup accord on February 20, Greece must reach an outline funding agreement with its lenders at the Eurogroup meeting on April 24.
The dollar has been trading in a range against the Euro at the end of the trading week, bouncing back and forth between $1.0850 and $1.0730. The U.S. currency is currently trading around $1.0790.
Eurozone’s consumer prices declined in March from a year ago, as estimated earlier, but prices rose from the previous month at the fastest rate in two years, latest figures from the statistical office Eurostat showed Friday.
The harmonized index of consumer prices dropped 0.1 percent annually after a 0.3 percent decline in February. That was in line with the flash estimate released by Eurostat on March 31. Prices decreased for the fourth consecutive month.
The euro area current account surplus declined in February largely due to a decrease in primary income, data published by the European Central Bank showed Friday. The current account surplus dropped to a seasonally adjusted EUR 26.4 billion from EUR 30.4 billion in January.
The buck dropped to a 1-month low of $1.5053 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since bounced back to around $1.4955, little changed for the session.
The U.K. unemployment rate fell to the lowest since 2008 and claimant count reached a 40-year low, labor market statistics released ahead of the General Elections showed Friday. The ILO jobless rate eased to 5.6 percent in three months to February from 5.8 percent in September to November, the Office for National Statistics said. The rate was the lowest since 2008 and matched economists’ expectations.
The greenback extended its recent losses against the Japanese Yen Friday, falling to a 3-week low of Y188.559, before rebounding to Y119.259. The buck has slipped back to around Y118.830 this afternoon.
Japan’s consumer confidence improved for the fourth straight month in March, surpassing expectations, survey data from the Cabinet Office showed Friday. The consumer confidence index rose to 41.7 in March from 40.9 in the previous month. Economists had expected the index to increase to 41.3. The latest reading was the highest since December 2013, when it marked the same 41.7.