In early Asian deals on Friday, the U.S. dollar dropped against its most major counterparts.
The dollar fell to 2-day lows of 1.3361 against the euro and 0.9024 against the franc, compared to Thursday's New York session close of 1.3302 and 0.9065, respectively. The next downside target level for the dollar is seen at 1.339 against the euro and 0.895 against the franc.
The dollar slipped to a 3-day low of 1.5988 against the pound with 1.60 seen as the next downside target level. At yesterday's close, the pound-dollar pair was quoted at 1.5960.
The U.S. dollar that closed yesterday's trading at 0.9968 against the Canadian dollar dropped to a 2-day low of 0.9956. If the greenback-loonie pair weakens further, it may likely target the 0.990 level.
Against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, the U.S. dollar fell to as low as 1.0403 and 0.8190, respectively. The next downside target level for the greenback is seen at 1.045 against the aussie and 0.825 against the kiwi. The greenback ended Thursday's trading at 1.0388 against the aussie and 0.8179 against the kiwi.
But the dollar recovered against the yen after hitting a fresh 3-week low of 81.84 at 8:35 pm ET. At present, the dollar-yen pair is worth 82.30, compared to Thursday's close of 82.47.
Data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report that Japan's industrial production was down a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent on month in February. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 1.3 percent following the 1.9 percent expansion in January.
On an annual basis, output climbed 1.5 percent - also missing expectations for an increase of 3.7 percent following the 1.3 percent contraction in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a report that core consumer prices in Japan were up 0.1 percent on year in February - beating forecasts for a contraction of 0.1 percent, which would have been unchanged from the January reading.
Overall inflation came in higher by 0.3 percent, topping expectations for a flat reading after adding 0.1 percent in the previous month.
A separate report from the same ministry showed that the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent in February - beating forecasts for 4.6 percent, which would have been unchanged from the January reading.
Looking ahead, Japan's housing starts for February is due at 1 am ET.
German retail sales and French PPI - both for February, Swiss KOF leading indicator for March and the Eurozone CPI estimate for March are slated for release in the European session.
The U.S. personal income & outlays report for February, results of the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago's business survey for March and Reuters and the University of Michigan's final report on the consumer sentiment index for March and Canada's GDP for January are expected in the New York morning session.
A meeting of euro-zone finance ministers will also be in focus as policymakers are expected to increase the combined lending ceiling of their two bailout funds.
by RTT Staff Writer
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