Investing.com – The dollar was mixed against the other major currencies on Friday, as disappointing U.S. consumer sentiment data weighed on the greenback, while concerns over tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East continued to support safe-haven demand.
The dollar edged higher against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.10% to 1.3513.
In a report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell to a four-month low of 81.3 this month, from a reading of 82.5 in June, confounding expectations for rise to 83.0.
Sentiment remained under pressure after a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine overnight Thursday. All 298 people on board were killed, sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.
The crash came a day after the U.S. and the European Union announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russia, following the annexation of Crimea in April and ongoing tensions in the rest of Ukraine. The U.S. package was the largest round of penalties so far.
Markets were also jittery after Israel announced late Thursday the start of a ground campaign in Gaza after 10 days of aerial and naval bombardments failed to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.
The pound was lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD slipping 0.23% to 1.7061.
The dollar was higher against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY adding 0.15% to 101.32 and with USD/CHF edging up 0.13% to 0.8985.
The minutes of the Bank of Japan’s June meeting earlier showed that members agreed that the country’s economic recovery will remain on track and that consumer inflation will slow only temporarily.
The greenback was steady to lower against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD rising 0.33% to 0.9382, NZD/USD inching up 0.06% to 0.8673 and USD/CAD slipping 0.22% to 1.0736.
In Canada, official data showed that wholesale sales rose 2.2% in May, beating expectations for a 0.7% gain, after a 1.4% increase in April, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated rise of 1.2%.
Data also showed that Canada’s consumer price inflation rose 0.1% last month, in line with expectations, after a 0.5% increase in May.
Core consumer price inflation, which excludes the eight most volatile items, fell 0.1% in June, in line with market expectations, after a 0.5% rise the previous month.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.11% to 80.66.