Dollar Stays Firm

The U.S. dollar stayed firm against most of its major rivals on Friday, extending recent gains, as traders looked ahead to the upcoming monetary policy meeting of the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index, which dropped to around 92.85 after advancing to 93.02, recovered subsequently and was last seen at 92.91, up nearly 0.1% from Thursday's close.

Against the Euro, the dollar firmed to 1.1756 before paring gains and easing to 1.1770, just a bit up from the previous close. According to a survey, eurozone business activity expanded at its fastest monthly pace in over two decades in July as an easing of containment measures gave a boost to services.

The Pound Sterling weakened against the dollar, fetching $1.3746 a unit, compared to $1.3768 on Thursday. U.K. consumer sentiment strengthened more-than-expected in July, with the index rising to -7 in the month from -9 in June. The expected reading was -8.

The IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. flash composite PMI dropped to 57.7 in July from 62.2 in June, its lowest since March and a sharper fall than most economists had expected.

The dollar gained against the yen, rising to 110.55 yen from 110.15.

Against the Aussie, the dollar advanced to 0.7363, gaining about 0.22%. The services sector in Australia fell hard into contraction territory in July, the latest survey from Markit Economics revealed on Friday with a 14-month low services PMI score of 44.2. That's down sharply from 56.8 in June

The Swiss franc was slightly weak at 0.9196 a dollar, easing from 0.9190.

The Loonie, at 1.2568 a dollar was down slightly from 1.2563. A preliminary estimate from Statistics Canada that says retail sales in the country are set to grow 4.4% in June as COVID-19 restrictions eased, support sentiment. Meanwhile, in May retail sales were down 2.1% month-on-month in May, less than market forecasts of a 3% decline.

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