The dollar dropped initially after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made some hawkish comments during her speech late this morning, but quickly reversed and has turned sharply higher. Yellen stated that the case for another interest-rate hike has strengthened recently. Her comments propelled the U.S. currency higher, overshadowing some lackluster economic data earlier this morning.
“In light of the continued solid performance of the labor market and our outlook for economic activity and inflation, I believe the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months,” Yellen said in a speech prepared for delivery to the Jackson Hole summit.
However, the Fed’s decision “always depends on the degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the Fed policy committee’s outlook.”
U.S. economic activity in the second quarter grew by slightly less than initially estimated, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The report said gross domestic product increased by 1.1 percent in the second quarter, reflecting a downward revision compared to the originally reported 1.2 percent growth. The revision matched economist estimates.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a slight decline in the month of August, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday. The report said the final reading on the consumer sentiment index for August came in at 89.8 compared to the initial estimate of 90.4.
The downward revision came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to be upwardly revised to a reading of 90.7.
The dollar has jumped to a week and a half high of $1.1205 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from a low of $1.1340.
German consumer sentiment is set to develop positively in September as Brexit vote seems to have caused only temporary uncertainty, survey results from the market research group GfK showed Friday.
The forward-looking consumer climate index rose to 10.2 in September from 10.0 in August. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 10.0 in September.
France’s gross domestic product stagnated as estimated in the second quarter, the second estimate from the statistical office Insee showed Friday. Gross domestic product remained flat from the prior quarter, after expanding 0.7 percent in the first quarter.
France’s consumer confidence improved unexpectedly in August, though marginally, figures from the statistical office INSEE showed Friday. The consumer confidence index rose to 97.0 in August from 96.0 in the previous month. Economists had expected the index to remain unchanged at 96.0.
The buck has broken out to a 3-session high of $1.3130 against the pound sterling Friday afternoon, from a low of $1.3278.
The U.K. economy expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter as previously estimated, in run-up to the EU referendum, the second estimate from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially after rising 0.4 percent in the first quarter. The growth figures matched preliminary estimate published on July 27.
British business investment increased in the three months to June, marking the first growth since the third quarter of last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Business investment rose 0.5 percent from the first quarter, when it declined 0.6 percent. In the same period last year, business investment grew 1.6 percent.
The greenback has surged to a 2-week high of Y101.680 against the Japanese yen this afternoon, from a low of Y100.193 this morning.
Consumer prices in Japan slipped 0.4 percent on year in July, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – matching expectations and unchanged from June’s annual reading.
Core CPI, which excludes volatile food costs, slid 0.5 percent on year – missing forecasts for -0.4 percent, which would have been unchanged.