The U.S. dollar exhibited strength against most major currencies on Friday, riding on fairly encouraging economic data from China and the U.S.
Chinese economy expanded in line with expectations in the fourth quarter. Data released today showed GDP was up 6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, the same rate as seen in the third quarter. It was in line with expectations as well.
The data also showed that industrial production in China rose 6.9% in December, compared to the year-ago quarter. Retails sales surged up 8% in the month, over the same month in the previous year.
According to the data released by the Commerce Department Friday morning, U.S. housing starts skyrocketed by 16.9% to an annual rate of 1.608 million in December after jumping by 2.6% to a revised rate of 1.375 million in November. Economists had expected housing starts to rise by 0.7% to a rate of 1.375 million.
Building permits tumbled by 3.9% in December, after climbing 0.9% in November.
A report from the University of Michigan showed a slight deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of January. Preliminary data showed the consumer sentiment index edged down to 99.1 in January from the final December reading of 99.3.
The Federal Reserve released a report showing a slight pullback in U.S. industrial production in the month of December.
The dollar index rose to 97.66, gaining in strength gradually after opening at 97.31. The index was last seen at 97.62, up more than 0.3% from Thursday’s close.
Against the Euro, the dollar strengthened to $1.1092, from previous close of $1.1135.
The dollar was up 0.5% against pound sterling at $1.3012, after trading at $1.3116 in the European session.
The dollar was flat against the yen, moving around the unchanged line for much of the trading session.
The Aussie, loonie and Swiss franc were all weak against the dollar, at 0.6873, $1.3068 and $0.9678, respectively.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com