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Dollar Little Changed After Mixed Data

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The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Friday afternoon, but is little changed overall as the weekend approaches. The large batch of economic data released this morning proved a mixed bag. Inflation data was right in line with expectations, while consumer sentiment and business inventories came in slightly above expectations. However, the weaker than expected retail sales data was the main focus among investors Friday.

Retail sales in the U.S. increased by less than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.4 percent in April compared to economist estimates for 0.6 percent growth.

After reporting an unexpected drop in U.S. consumer prices in the previous month, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing that prices rebounded in the month of April. The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.2 percent in April after falling by 0.3 percent in March. The increase in prices matched economist estimates.

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has seen a modest improvement in the month of May, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday. The report said the preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for May came in at 97.7 compared to the final April reading of 97.0. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 97.3.

Reflecting a notable increase in retail inventories, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing that U.S. business inventories rose by slightly more than expected in the month of March. The report said business inventories edged up by 0.2 percent in March, matching the revised uptick seen in February.

Economists had expected inventories to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 0.3 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar has fallen to a 3-day low of $1.0925 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from an early high of $1.0855.

Eurozone industrial production dropped for a second straight month in March, defying expectations for a modest gain, as mild weather dampened energy output.

Industrial output slid unexpectedly by 0.1 percent month-on-month in March, the same pace of decline as seen in February, figures from Eurostat showed Friday. Production was forecast to climb 0.3 percent.

The German economy expanded the most in a year at the start of 2017 as global demand underpinned exports and investment advanced substantially.

Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent sequentially, faster than the 0.4 percent expansion seen in the fourth quarter, provisional results published by Destatis showed Friday. This was the fastest growth since the first quarter of 2016, when GDP climbed 0.7 percent.

Germany's consumer price inflation accelerated as initially estimated in April, after easing in the previous month, latest figures from Destatis showed Friday. The consumer price index climbed 2.0 percent year-over-year in April, faster than the 1.6 percent rise in March. That was in line with the flash data published on April 27.

France's payroll employment in the non-farm sectors grew for an eighth successive quarter in the first three months of the year, albeit at a slower pace, preliminary data from the statistical office INSEE showed Friday.

Non-farm payroll employment grew 0.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016, when the figure rose 0.4 percent.

The buck climbed to an early high of $1.2837 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since eased back to around $1.2880.

The greenback has dropped to a 3-day low of Y113.340 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early high of Y113.949.

The M2 money stock in Japan was up 4.3 percent on year in April, the Bank of Japan said on Friday, coming in at 975.5 trillion yen. That was in line with expectations and up from 4.2 percent in March following a downward revision from 4.3 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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