WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Buoyed by data showing a jump in retail sales in the month of May, the U.S. dollar moved higher against most major currencies on Friday, even as traders continued to hope the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.
The Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to meet next week, is most likely to hold rates unchanged for now. Although some analysts are expecting a 25 basis points cut in rate, many are of the view that a cut is likely only in July.
The dollar index rose to 97.58, the highest level since June 3, and stayed firm around that mark, gaining nearly 0.6% over previous close.
The dollar was up nearly 0.6% against the euro, at $1.1209, rising from $1.1275 a unit of the EU currency.
Against British Pound Sterling, the dollar was even more stronger, as it surged up 0.73% to $1.2581.
The safe haven currency yen too exhibited weakness against the greenback, easing to 108.55 yen a dollar after opening at 108.37.
Final data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's industrial production rose 0.6% month-on-month in April, in line with estimate, reversing a 0.6% fall in March.
The dollar was up sharply against the aussie, loonie and Swiss franc as well, with the respective currencies falling 0.67%, 0.62% and 0.5%, to 0.6869, 1.3410 and 0.9990.
In U.S. economic news today, data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales climbed by 0.5% in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3% in April. Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6% compared to the 0.2% drop originally reported for the previous month.
Excluding a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.5% in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April.
A report from the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production rose by more than expected in the month of May, climbing by 0.4%, following a revised 0.4% decrease in April.
Industrial production had been expected to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 0.5% drop originally reported for the previous month.
A report from the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment in the U.S. has deteriorated in the month of June, reflecting concerns about the impact of higher tariffs.
The preliminary report said the consumer sentiment index fell to 97.9 in June from 100.0 in May, while economists had expected the index to dip to 98.0.
On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index climbed to 112.5 in June from 110.0 in the previous month.
Meanwhile, data released by the Commerce Department showed business inventories climbed by 0.5% in April after coming in virtually unchanged in March, matching expectations.
Wholesale inventories showed a notable 0.8% increase, while retail and manufacturing inventories rose by 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.
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