Dollar Struggles for Gains Despite Positive Economic Data
The dollar remained roughly flat against a basket of major currencies as mostly positive economic data failed to lift sentiment amid lighter volumes ahead of the long Easter weekend.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.01% to 89.77.
The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, rose 1.6% in the 12 months through February, in line with economists’ forecast.
Inflation continues to trail the Fed’s 2% inflation target but MUFG’s Chris Rupkey said the Federal Reserve policymakers “can be confident about the inflation outlook and will likely keep with the plan to raise rates a couple more times this year.”
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 215,000 for the week ended March 24, beating economists’ forecast for a drop to 230,000.
The Commerce Department said consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, met expectations, rising 0.2% last month, meeting economists’ forecasts.
The rebound in the yen, meanwhile, pressured USD/JPY to Y106.38, down 0.43%. The pair had hit two-week highs a day earlier on the back of easing geopolitical tensions amid reports of a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and China’s Xi Jinping.
EUR/USD fell 0.56% to $1.2288, while GBP/USD lost 0.38% to $1.4023.
USD/CAD fell 0.21% to C$1.2896 as a rebound from in oil prices from three-day slump supported the loonie offsetting weakness from a surprise tick lower in Canadian GDP.