Dollar Stays Firm Against Peers

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The U.S. dollar exhibited strength against most of its peers on Friday, riding on the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would let expire a temporary rule directing banks to hold more capital against their assets on March 31.

The dollar index rose to 92.17 by mid morning, but pared substantial portion of its gains as the day progressed. It was last seen hovering around 91.95, up 0.1% from previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar firmed up to $1.1905, gaining more than 0.1%.

The Pound Sterling weakened against the dollar, and was fetching $1.3860 a unit, nearly 0.5% less than Thursday’s close of $1.3928. The UK budget deficit reached its highest February level since records began in 1993, the Office for National Statistics revealed on Friday.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, increased by GBP 17.6 billion from the previous year to GBP 19.1 billion in February. Public sector net debt excluding banks, rose by GBP 333.0 billion over the eleven months of the financial year-to-February, taking it to GBP 2,131.2 billion or around 97.5% of gross domestic product, maintaining a level not seen since the early 1960s.

The Yen was little changed at 108.91 a dollar a little while ago. The Bank of Japan decided Friday to widen the range at which it permits the yields of government bonds to fluctuate and scrapped the average exchange traded fund buying target.

The board, governed by Haruhiko Kuroda, voted 8-1 to maintain the interest rate at -0.1% on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank.

Also, the central bank decided to continue to purchase necessary amount of Japanese government bonds without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.

Against the Aussie, the dollar firmed up, with the AUD-USD pair at 0.7746, compared to 0.7759 Thursday evening. The total value of retail sales in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 1.1% on month in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

The Swiss franc was at 0.9295 a dollar, about 0.25% weaker than previous close of 0.9273 a dollar.

The Loonie weakened to 1.2504 from 1.2487 a dollar. Data from Statistics Canada showed retail sales in Canada dropped 1.1% month-over-month in January. Economists had forecast a 3% decline in sales. Retail Sales were up 1.3% in January compared to the same month last year.

Retail Sales Excluding Autos in Canada decreased 1.2% month-over-month in January, less than an expected drop of 2.6%.

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