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Forex News: Dollar Mixed After GDP Data Disappoints

Dollar Mixed After GDP Data Disappoints

04/28/2017 - 14:36:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Friday afternoon. The buck is down against its major European rivals, but is holding onto modest gains against the Japanese Yen after GDP data came in weaker than anticipated this morning.

Economic growth in the U.S. slowed by more than anticipated in the first three months of 2017, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The Commerce Department said gross domestic product increased by 0.7 percent in the first quarter after jumping by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected GDP to climb by 1.2 percent.

A report released by MNI Indicators on Friday showed an unexpected acceleration in the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity in the month of April. MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer rose to 58.3 in April from 57.7 in March, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

The continued increase by the business barometer came as a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to drop to 56.5.

After initially reporting an improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of April, the University of Michigan released revised data on Friday showing that sentiment was nearly flat. The report said the consumer sentiment index for April was downwardly revised to 97.0 from the preliminary reading of 98.0. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.

The dollar dropped to an early low of $1.0946 against the Euro Friday, but has since rebounded to around $1.0895.

Eurozone inflation accelerated more than expected in April, flash data from Eurostat showed Friday. Inflation rose to 1.9 percent in April from 1.5 percent in March. Economists had forecast the annual rate to rise to 1.8 percent.

Germany's retail sales recovered in March, provisional data of the Federal Statistical Office showed Friday. Retail sales grew 2.3 percent year-on-year in March, offsetting February's revised 2.3 percent fall. Sales were expected to grow 2.2 percent.

Germany's import prices increased at a slower pace in March, data published by Destatis showed Friday.

Import price inflation eased to 6.1 percent in March from a near six-year high of 7.4 percent in February.

Month-on-month, import prices fell 0.5 percent, in contrast to February's 0.7 percent increase. This was the first fall in seven months.

At the same time, export prices advanced 2.3 percent versus 2.5 percent increase in February. On a monthly basis, export prices remained flat in March, following a 0.2 percent rise.

French inflation accelerated slightly, as expected, in April, the provisional estimate from the statistical office Insee showed Friday. Consumer price inflation rose marginally to 1.2 percent in April from 1.1 percent in March. The annual rate came in line with expectations.

France's consumer spending decreased for the second straight month in March, defying economists' expectations for an increase, figures from the statistical office INSEE showed Friday.

Consumer spending dropped 0.4 percent month-over-month in March, following a 0.7 percent drop in February, revised from a 0.8 percent fall reported earlier. Meanwhile, it was forecast to rise by 0.1 percent.

The buck has fallen to a 7-month low of $1.2960 against the pound sterling Friday afternoon, from an early high of $1.2888.

The U.K. economy expanded at the slowest pace in a year at the start of 2017, preliminary estimate from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Gross domestic product grew only 0.3 percent in the first quarter from prior three months. This was the slowest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2016.

UK home loan approvals declined more-than-expected to its lowest level in four months in March, figures from the British Bankers' Association showed Friday. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell to 41,061 from 42,247 in March. Economists had forecast 40,000.

UK house prices unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in April, driving the annual pace of growth to its lowest level in nearly four years, signaling that Britons may be tightening the purse strings due to a squeeze on real incomes.

The house price index fell 0.4 percent month-on-month after a 0.3 percent slump in March, results of the monthly survey by the Nationwide Building Society showed Friday. Economists had expected a 0.1 percent gain.

Consumer confidence in the United Kingdom ebbed in April, the latest survey from GfK revealed on Friday with an index score of -7. That was in line with expectations, and down from -6 in March.

The greenback rose to a high of Y111.711 against the Japanese Yen Friday, but has since eased back to around Y111.415.

The average of household spending in Japan was down 1.3 percent on year in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday, coming in at 297,942 yen. That missed forecasts for a fall of 0.5 percent following the 3.8 percent decline in February.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That was unchanged from the February reading, although it was beneath expectations for 2.9 percent.

Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan were up 0.2 percent on year in March, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday, missing forecasts for 0.3 percent, which would have been unchanged.

Core CPI, which excludes fresh food prices, also added an annual 0.2 percent, unchanged and matching forecasts.

Retail sales in Japan were up a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday. That beat expectations for a decline of 0.3 percent, although it was unchanged from the February reading.

Industrial output in Japan skidded 2.1 percent on month in March, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday's preliminary reading. That missed forecasts for a fall of 0.8 percent following the 3.2 percent gain in February.

Japan's housing starts grew marginally in March, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed Friday. Housing starts grew only 0.2 percent year-on-year in March, but reversed a 2.6 percent fall in February. Economists had forecast housing starts to drop again by 2.6 percent in March.

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