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US Dollar Trades Lower Against Majors After Key Economic Reports

The US dollar traded lower against major currencies after the releasing of key economic reports during New York morning deals on Friday.

A latest report released by the Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the consumer sentiment index fell to 74.3 in March from 75.3 in February. The drop surprised economists, who had expected the index to increase to 76.0.

The drop in consumer sentiment reflects a deterioration in the outlook for economic conditions, with the consumer expectations index falling to 68.0 in March from 70.3 in February.

According to a report released by the Federal Reserve today, the industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly came in unchanged in the month of February, with a sharp drop in mining output offsetting continued growth in the manufacturing sector.

The report showed that industrial production was unchanged in February after rising by a revised 0.4 percent in January. Economist had expected production to increase by 0.5 percent after initial data showed that production was unchanged in the previous month.

Mining output showed a notable decrease during the month, tumbling by 1.2 percent in February following a 1.6 percent drop in the previous month.

The report also showed that capacity utilization edged down to 78.7 percent in February from an upwardly revised 78.8 percent in January.

The U.S. Labor Department said that its consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in February following a 0.2 percent increase in January. Economists had expected the index to increase by about 0.5 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index edged up by 0.1 percent in February compared to a 0.2 percent increase in the previous month. Core prices had been expected to increase by about 0.2 percent.

After a slight gain in early European session, the greenback edged down against its major European counterpart in New York morning today. At around 10:30 am ET, the dollar dropped to fresh multi-day lows of 0.9153 against the Swiss franc, 1.3188 versus the euro and 1.5863 against the British pound, compared to yesterday's close of 0.9232, 1.3081 and 1.5713, respectively. Currently, the greenback is worth 0.9164 against the franc, 1.5832 versus the sterling and 1.3167 against the euro.

After edging up to 83.95 by about 8:20 am ET, the dollar reversed its direction against its Japanese counterpart in today's late morning deals and fell to a 2-day low of 83.20 by about 10:30 am ET. The greenback is presently trading near 83.34.

Against the New Zealand dollar, the US currency also traded further lower in New York mid-day deals on Friday. At 11:30 am ET, the greenback dropped to a 1-week low of 0.8260 versus the kiwi from Thursday's close of 0.8193. As of now, the greenback is trading near 0.8255 versus the kiwi.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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