The US dollar managed to steady against a basket of major rivals on Friday after hitting a two-week high overnight, as data showed a strong US economy. Meanwhile, the euro was affected by weak manufacturing activity in Europe.
Many financial markets closed due to the Good Friday holiday. Currency markets remain open but volumes are expected to be thin.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose to 97.485 points overnight, the highest since April 2. The latest trading was at the price of 97.392 on Friday, down 0.1% on the day.
Retail sales in the United States rose the most in a year and a half in March as families boosted car purchases and a wide variety of other commodities, the latest sign that economic growth rose in the first quarter after a false start.
The strength of the economy was also boosted with other data on Thursday, showing a drop in the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits to a 50-year low last week.
In addition to the recent rise in Chinese data, the latest US retail sales helped ease investor fears about the global economy. It seems that trading will be very quiet because of the Easter holiday, according to the opinions of senior US markets analysts.
The environment was less bullish in the euro zone as data showed on Thursday that activity in the German manufacturing sector contracted for a fourth straight month in April.
The euro fell against the dollar to $1.1226, its lowest level in a week and a half following data from Europe’s largest economy that came in lower than analysts had forecast.
The single currency last rose 0.1% against the US dollar at $1.1242, up 0.1% a day.
In contrast, weak European data pushed the yen to a one-week high of 111.765 yen per dollar at one point late on Thursday. Yen hit 111.935 in the latest narrow range.
Special Counsel Robert Muller’s report on Russia’s role in the 2016 US election had a very thin impact on the markets.