Dollar Mixed As The Long Weekend Approaches

The dollar is up against its major European rivals Friday afternoon, but is down against the Japanese Yen. Some weak European economic data has contributed to the dollar's strength Friday. However, trading activity is relatively subdued heading into the long President's Day holiday weekend.

Following the deluge of data that was released during the previous two sessions, today was a rather light day on the U.S. economic front. Pointing to a positive economic outlook in the first half of the year, the Conference Board released a report on Friday showing a bigger than expected increase by its index of leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of January.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index climbed by 0.6 percent in January after rising by 0.5 percent in December. Economists had expected the index to increase by 0.4 percent.

The dollar has climbed to around $1.0610 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from an early low of $1.0675.

The euro area current account surplus declined in December, the European Central Bank said Friday. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 31 billion in December from EUR 36.4 billion in November.

Eurozone construction output declined for the first time in three months in December, figures from Eurostat showed Friday. Construction output dropped 0.2 percent month-on-month in December, in contrast to November's 0.9 percent increase. Output had increased in the previous two months.

The buck rose to an early high of $1.2386 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since eased back to around $1.2430.

UK retail sales declined unexpectedly at the start of the year as consumers curbed their spending in response to rising inflation. Retail sales including automotive fuel dropped 0.3 percent month-on-month in January, following a 2.1 percent fall in December, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday.

Sales were expected to grow 1 percent in January after falling for two consecutive months.

The greenback fell to a low of Y112.614 against the Japanese Yen Friday, but has since bounced back to around Y112.890.


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