The dollar rebounded to pare some of its recent losses on Friday, as slumping stocks and violence in Egypt helped boost the greenback’s safe haven appeal.
Traders shrugged off a mixed bag of economic data from the U.S., including a government report showing slower than expected GDP growth in the fourth quarter.
The dollar rose to $1.3600 versus the euro, moving away from yesterday’s 2-month low of $1.3757.
Late morning gains took the dollar to within a hair of parity versus its petro-linked Canadian counterpart, even as the price of oil jumped on supply concerns.
At the same time, the buck improved to $1.5840 compared to $1.5975 earlier today.
However, Japan’s yen garnered the most safe haven interest, causing the buck to slip back to Y82 from Y83.
Egypt’s army has been called in to downtown Cairo to quell protests aimed at replacing the nation’s political leadership. Its is feared that civil unrest could spread elsewhere in the Arab world, destabilizing the oil-rich Middle East.
Here in the U.S., the economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the final three months of 2010, the Commerce Department said, after expanding at a 2.6 percent pace in the third quarter. Economists expected the economy to grow between 3.5 and 3.7 percent.
Consumer spending in the world’s largest economy rose the most in four years, but the increase gross domestic product failed to generate enough jobs to improve the jobs situation.
Meanwhile, a reading of consumer sentiment fell from December, but was stronger than analysts expected.
The Reuters and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for January was upwardly revised to 74.2 from the preliminary reading of 72.7. The index is well above expectations for a reading of 73.0 but is still just below the December reading of 74.5.