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Dollar Rebounds On Better Than Expected Data


The dollar is up against all of its major rivals Wednesday afternoon, bouncing back from yesterday's weak performance. The currency received a boost from the release of a pair of better than expected economic reports this morning.

Reflecting strong expansions in new orders and production, the Institute for Supply Management released a report on Wednesday showing growth in U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly accelerated in the month of December.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 59.7 in December from 58.2 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 58.1.

Primarily reflecting a jump in spending on private construction, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing a bigger than expected increase in U.S. construction spending in the month of November.

The Commerce Department said construction spending climbed by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of $1.257 trillion in November from a revised $1.247 trillion in October. Economists had expected spending to rise by 0.5 percent.

Stubbornly weak inflation could slow the pace of interest rate hikes in 2018, the minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting revealed today.

At that meeting, the Fed voted to increase its benchmark interest rate a quarter point to 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent.

"The information reviewed for the December 12-13 meeting indicated that labor market conditions continued to strengthen through November and suggested that real gross domestic product (GDP) was rising at a solid pace in the second half of 2017," the minutes said.

The dollar has risen to around $1.2020 against the Euro Wednesday afternoon, from an early low of $1.2063.

Germany's unemployment decreased notably and the rate hit a record low in December as companies raised employment amid improving economic conditions.

The number of people out of work declined 29,000 in December from November, when it fell 20,000. The decrease was more than double the expected drop of 13,000.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at a record low 5.5 percent in December.

Germany's unemployment rate decreased slightly in November, figures from Destatis showed Wednesday. The jobless rate fell slightly to an adjusted 3.6 percent in November from 3.7 percent in October.

The buck has rebounded to around $1.3520 against the pound sterling Wednesday afternoon, from a low of $1.3611 this morning.

UK construction activity grew at a slower pace in December, survey results from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply construction Purchasing Managers' Index fell more-than-expected to 52.2 in December from 53.1 in November. The expected score was 53.0.

The buck slipped to an early low of Y112.187 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since bounced back to around $1.112.450.

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