The greenback held steady against other major currencies on Friday, ahead of U.S. consumer sentiment data releases later in the day. The euro rebounded from sharp losses on Thursday before slumping again on Friday. The short-lived rebound came after an announcement that the ECB will extend its asset purchase program for an additional nine months.
The ECB said net asset purchases will continue at a €60 billion monthly rate until December 2017. The central bank kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged.
EUR/USD is down 0.42% to 1.0569.
The dollar gained support on Thursday after the U.S. Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims fell to 258,000, down 10,000 for the week ending December 2. Sentiment for the greenback remains volatile ahead of an expected rate hike at next week’s policy meeting.
GBP/USD gained 0.02% on Friday, trading at 1.2582. Positive data out of the U.K. indicate the trade deficit narrowing to £9.71 billion in October, down from £13.83 billion in September. The trade deficit narrowing beat analyst expectations of an £11.80 billion deficit in October.
China announced earlier in the day that the country will launch direct trading between the yuan and seven foreign currencies. Trading among the currencies will begin on December 12 and includes the Norwegian krone, Turkish lira and Mexican peso.
The AUD/USD gained 0.13% to trade at 0.7473, erasing a poor performance earlier in the day.
China’s consumer prices inched up 0.1% in November, marking a 2.3% consumer price increase year-on-year. Produce prices rose at a rate of 3.3%, up 1.1% year-on-year. The data weakened the Aussie in early morning trade.
Australian home loan data for October was down 0.8%.
NZD/USD is down 0l.18%, trading at 0.7162. USD/CAD is down 0.17% to trade at 1.3170. USD/JPY is notably stronger, up 0.78% to 114.91. The US Dollar Index is up 0.34% to 101.45. The index reached a four-day high overnight.