The U.S. dollar was mostly steady against other major currencies early on in the session on Friday, but pared some gains as the day progressed.
The dollar rose amid rising U.S.-China tensions and the outbreak of the coronavirus in Japan and Australia.
U.S-China tensions remain in focus as U.S. President Joe Biden warned the senators that China will “eat our lunch” if America doesn’t “step up” its infrastructure spending.
A report from the University of Michigan showed an unexpected decrease in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of February. The report said the consumer sentiment index fell to 76.2 in February after edging down to 79.0 in January. Economists had expected to index to inch up to 80.8.
The dollar index advanced to 90.74 this morning, but briefly fell below the flat line to 90.38 before edging up slightly as the session progressed. It was last seen hovering around 90.45, up 0.04% from previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar firmed up to $1.2120 after closing at $1.2134 on Thursday.
The Pound Sterling was stronger against the dollar, fetching $1.3854 a unit, compared to previous close of $1.3816. Official data showed the U.K. economy logged its biggest annual fall on record in 2020, with GDP falling 9.9%.
The report from the Office for National Statistics showed UK’s GDP grew 1% in the fourth quarter following a 16.1% growth in the third quarter. GDP grew 1.2% in December, after falling by a revised 2.3% in November.
The Yen weakened a bit to 104.94 a dollar, sliding from 104.75.
The Aussie/Dollar pair was quoting at 0.7762 a little while ago, giving the Aussie a modest gain.
The Swiss franc weakened to 0.8920, losing 0.21%. Swiss consumer price index decreased 0.5% year-on-year in January, following a 0.8% fall in December. Economists had expected a 0.6% fall.
The Loonie was slightly stronger at 1.2692 a dollar as crude oil prices moved up sharply after exhibiting some weakness early on in the session.