The U.S. dollar lost ground against its major counterparts on Friday, falling to a record low against the Japanese yen.
Hope that a solution was in sight for the European debt crisis stirred interest in the euro. Meanwhile, increased speculation about further stimulus coming in the U.S. weighed on the greenback.
There were no major economic statistics released on Friday, but attention turned to the Federal Reserve. Recent comments from Fed officials have raised speculation that the U.S. central bank was considering further steps to boost the economy.
In remarks made Friday, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher noted that the current problem in the economy is lack of job creation, not inflation. While he said the Fed has done its job to encourage job growth, he pressed for Congress and the White House to take steps to spur the expansion of private-sector payrolls.
Fisher’s remarks are part of a string of recent appearances by Fed officials. While there have been cross-currents in their commentary – Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota called for a greater focus on increased inflation risks in remarks she made on Friday – the preponderance of the recent central bank discussion has suggested that further stimulus of some form could be needed.
The dollar has trimmed some of its losses late in New York trading, though it is still down from the previous day. Against the euro, it is sitting at 1.3865. The pair hit 1.3900, at the boundary of a recent trading range, during the morning.
The greenback plunged to 75.78 versus the yen, setting a new record low. The dollar quickly came of this mark and has been holding steady during afternoon trading in New York. The pair is currently sitting at 76.131.
The slide in the dollar took it to a level of 1.5961 versus the British pound – its lowest mark since the fist half of September. The decline has moderated slightly in the afternoon, with the pair hovering at 1.5937.
There is a busy schedule of economic releases next week. There are no major reports due out on Monday, but the Fed’s Richard Fisher is set to make further remarks. Later in the week, reports on durable goods orders, new home sales and GDP are set to be released.