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Dollar Barely Budges Ahead Of Inflation Data


The dollar was little changed Friday morning in New York, ahead of the latest reading on U.S. inflation. Stocks have risen sharply in recent days, bolstered by expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low through late 2014.

At the same time, the Fed is giving no indication that it will crank up the printing presses again in support of the economy -- the dollar has thus risen to its highest in a month versus the euro.

The dollar was steady near $1.3040 versus the euro, having touched a monthly peak near $1.30 earlier this week.

Eurozone's merchandise trade balance slipped to a deficit in January, and exceeded economists' forecast, data released by statistical office Eurostat showed Friday.

The trade balance was a deficit of EUR7.6 billion in January, compared to a surplus of EUR9.1 billion in December, which was revised down from EUR9.7 billion.

The buck was slightly weaker at $1.5740 versus the sterling, down a bit from this week's monthly high of $1.5601.

The dollar edged back toward Wednesday's 11-month high of Y84.17 versus the yen.

Looking at the economic calendar in the U.S., the Labor Department is set to release its consumer price inflation report for February at 8:30 am ET.

Economists expect the headline index to have increased 0.5 percent compared to a 0.2 percent increase in core inflation. In January, the headline and core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent each.

The Federal Reserve's industrial production report is due out at 9:15 am ET. Economists estimate 0.5 percent growth in industrial production for February following flat outperformance in the previous month.

The preliminary report of the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey for March is scheduled to be released at 9.55 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to edge down to 75.3 from February's 76.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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