The U.S. dollar was quite firm against its rivals on Friday thanks to its safe-haven appeal amid worries about rising coronavirus cases and stricter lockdown restrictions in several countries.
The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by 0.7% in December after tumbling by a revised 1.4% in November. Economists had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 1.1% slump originally reported for the previous month.
The Federal Reserve released a report showing U.S. industrial production surged up by 1.6% in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.5% in November. Economists had expected production to rise by 0.4%, matching the increase originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar index rose to 90.79, gaining over 0.6%
Against the Euro, the dollar was stronger by nearly 0.7% at $1.2076. Eurozone exports increased for the seventh straight month in November, first estimate from Eurostat showed. Exports grew 2% on month and imports climbed 2.4% from October.
However, compared to the month before restrictions were imposed in February, both flows were still down by 4.4% and 4.8%, respectively.
The Pound Sterling weakened against the dollar, fetching $1.3585, about 0.75% less than Thursday’s close of $1.3688 a unit. Official data showed Britain’s economy contracted at a slower than expected pace in November. Gross domestic product shrank 2.6% month on month in November but slower than the 5.7% fall economists’ had forecast.
The Yen was slightly weaker at 103.87 a dollar. Japan’s tertiary activity dropped for the sixth month in a row in November, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed. The tertiary activity index declined 0.7% month-on-month in November, after a 1.6% increase in October.
On a yearly basis, the tertiary activity index declined 3.7% in November, following a 1.4% fall in the previous month.
The Aussie was down nearly 1% at $0.7707. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.8916 a dollar, losing about 0.4%, while the Loonie was at C$1.2736 a dollar, down 0.75% from previous close, as crude oil prices declined sharply.