Dollar Mostly Subdued Against Major Rivals

Trading 01 avr 2019 Donner votre avis

The U.S. dollar was mostly subdued against major currencies on Monday as it lost some of its safe haven appeal as worries about growth faded a bit after data showed a jump in Chinese manufacturing sector activity in the month of March.

Rising optimism about U.S.-China trade talks too weighed on the greenback as investors chose to pick up equities.

Economic data from the U.S. was a mixed bag, with data on retail sales showing a drop in February, and the ISM Manufacturing Index for March rising above expectations. Construction spending too increased in February, beating expectations.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed an unexpected increase by its index of activity in the manufacturing sector in the month of March.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 55.3 in March after falling to 54.2 in February, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

Data from the Commerce Department showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly dipped by 0.2% in February after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7% in January. Economists had expected sales to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.2% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar index was up slightly at 97.27, after moving in the range of 97.03 - 97.30.

According to official data, Chinese factory activity in March unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months, according to official data. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.8 from 49.9 in February, recording the strongest reading in eight months.

The dollar was down by about 0.009% against the Yuan, at 6.7115 yuan a dollar.

The euro shed about 0.05% against the greenback, falling to $1.1212, weighed by weak eurozone data. In economic releases, official data showed that the euro zone manufacturing sector saw its biggest contraction for nearly six years in March, as demand and output slumped.

In other economic news from eurozone, inflation slowed in March, defying expectations for stability, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged in February.

Even as Brexit uncertainty continued, U.K. manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in over a year in March, as stockpiling by businesses hit a record, survey data from IHS Markit showed.

The dollar was weak against the British Pound, ahead of outcome of another voting by British MPs on Brexit alternatives. The lawmakers have been asked to vote on four options, including a customs union and a referendum.

The Pound Sterling was up 0.6% with a sterling fetching $1.3114, rising from a low of $1.3009.

Against the loonie, the dollar was down 0.24%, at 1.3317, despite weak manufacturing sector activity in Canada. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index, a measure of manufacturing business conditions, came in with a reading of 50.5 for March, its lowest since September 2016, from 52.6 in February.

The Aussie was gaining 0.27%, with the AUS/USD pair trading at 0.7115. The dollar was up 0.4% against the franc, at 0.9992,

The Japanese yen was down against the greenback, with a unit of the latter fetching 111.35 yen, after closing at 110.86 on Friday.

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