A survey that showed U.S. consumer sentiment fell sharply and unexpectedly in early July to the lowest level in five months, as inflation worries dented confidence in the economic recovery, did little to dent the dollar’s stronger tone.
Solid U.S. data and a shift in interest rate expectations after the Federal Reserve flagged in June sooner-than-expected hikes in 2023 have helped lift the dollar in recent weeks and made investors nervous about shorting it.
Friday’s gains for the dollar came despite Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterating on Thursday that rising inflation was likely to be transitory and that the U.S. central bank would continue to support the economy.
“The data was consistent with the economy making substantial strides and cements expectations of very robust second quarter growth of around 10%,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
“A backdrop of rising inflation, falling unemployment and a resilient consumer makes a compelling case for the Fed to unwind stimulus,” Manimbo said.
The New Zealand dollar gained 0.44% after data showed New Zealand’s consumer prices rose far faster than expected, prompting some in the market to bet on a rate hike as soon as August..
Sterling fell against the dollar, on pace for its worst week in a month, as investors sought safety in the greenback amid concerns over rising COVID-19 cases globally.
The Canadian dollar climbed 0.1% on Friday, helped by upbeat domestic wholesale trade data, a day after touching a near 3-month low against its U.S. counterpart.
Cryptocurrencies found support after recent turbulence, with bitcoin about flat on the day at $32,027.33.
For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.
(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Iain Withers, Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Mark Heinrich and Alex Richardson)