Dollar Gains In Strength Against Most Major Rivals

Trading 23 mar 2019 Commentaire »

The U.S. dollar fared well against most major currencies on Friday, rebounding from recent losses, after disappointing eurozone economic data rendered the euro quite weak.

The dollar index, which dropped to a six-week low a couple of days ago, rose to 96.81, but eased to 96.60 as the day progressed, yet held in positive territory, gaining more than 0.7% from previous close.

The Euro shed more than 0.6%, falling to $1.300, after data showed a notable drop in eurozone manufacturing activity.

Flash data from IHS Markit's purchasing managers' survey showed eurozone private sector expanded at the slowest pace in two months in March amid a deepening downturn in manufacturing, defying expectations for a modest improvement.

The flash Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a two-month low of 51.3 from 51.9 in February. Economists had forecast a score of 52.

The manufacturing PMI dropped to a 71-month low of 47.7 from 49.4 in February. Economists were looking for a score of 49.5.

The services PMI hit a two-month low of 52.7 from 52.8 in February. The reading was in line with economists' expectations.

France private sector activity dropped to its lowest level in two months in March with both manufacturing and services falling, amid an intensified decline in new order and exports, survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, which combines manufacturing and services, fell to a two-month low of 48.7 in March from 50.4 in February. Economists had forecast an improvement to 50.7.

The flash services PMI tumbled to a two-month low of 48.7 in March and the flash manufacturing PMI dropped to a three-month low of 49.8.

In Germany, private sector grew at its slowest pace in nearly six years, led by a sharp decline in manufacturing, flash data from IHS Markit revealed on Friday.

The composite output index fell to a 69-month low of 51.5 in March from 52.8 in February. Economists had forecast a rise of 52.7. The flash services Purchasing Managers' Index dropped to 54.9 in March from 55.3 in February.

The flash manufacturing PMI dropped more-than-expected to 44.7 in March from 47.6 In February. The reading was the lowest in six-and-a-half years. Economists had forecast the reading to rise 48.0.

Manufacturing output PMI also fell to a 79-month low of 45.0 in March to 47.9 in February.

The British Pound Sterling advanced to $1.3208, rising from previous afternoon's $1.3107.

On the Brexit front, European Union leaders have offered the U.K. more time to ease itself out of the bloc.

Against the Canadian loonie the dollar gained about 0.5%, after disappointing Canadian retail sales and inflation data.

Against Swiss franc, the dollar was up 0.16% at 0.9936, while it gained 0.4% against the Aussie, at 0.7083.

The Japanese Yen, considered a safe haven, strengthened against the greenback, even as the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to contract at a steady pace. The latest survey from Nikkei revealed on that its manufacturing PMI came in with a score of 48.9.

In U.S. economic news, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed a substantial rebound in existing home sales in the month of February.

NAR said existing home sales soared by 11.8% to an annual rate of 5.51 million in February after slumping by 1.4% to a revised rate of 4.93 million in January.

Economists had expected existing home sales to surge up by 3.2% to a rate of 5.10 million from the 4.94 million originally reported for the previous month.


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