Dollar slides broadly lower ahead of U.S. economic reports

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© Reuters.  Dollar drops against other majors before U.S. data© Reuters. Dollar drops against other majors before U.S. data

Investing.com – The dollar slid broadly lower against a basket of other major currencies on Friday, as the previous session’s disappointing U.S. data continued to weigh and as investors eyed additional U.S. economic reports due later in the day.

The dollar remained under pressure after the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits increased more than expected to 294,000 last week.

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said that the number of building permits issued in March declined by 5.7% last month to 1.039 million units.

The weak data fuelled further speculation that the Federal Reserve could delay hiking interest rates until late 2015, instead of tightening midyear.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.49% to 97.40.

EUR/USD gained 0.59% to 1.0825 after revised data showed that euro zone consumer price inflation rose 1.1% last month, in line with expectations and up from a preliminary estimate of 0.6%. Euro zone inflation declined by 0.3% in February.

The rate grew closer to the European Central Bank’s target of near but just below 2%.

Core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco costs rose 1.4% in February, up from an initial estimate of 0.6%.

The pound was also higher, with GBP/USD up 0.46% to 1.5002, even as the Office for National Statistics said that the U.K. claimant count dropped 20,700 last month, compared to expectations for a 29,500 decline. February’s figure was changed to a 29,100 fall from a previously estimated 31,000 drop.

A separate report showed that the U.K. unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6% in February from 5.7% the previous month, in line with expectations.

In addition, data showed that average U.K. earnings rose 1.7% in February, below expectations for an increase of 1.8%, after an upwardly revised 1.9% gain in January.

Elsewhere, the dollar was lower against the yen and the Swiss franc, with USD/JPY down 0.18% to 118.82 and with USD/CHF shedding 0.28% to 0.9535.

The Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars were broadly stronger, with AUD/USD adding 0.17% to 0.7816 and NZD/USD advancing 0.43% to 0.7704, while USD/CAD edged 0.11% lower to trade at 1.2176.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on consumer prices and consumer sentiment.



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