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US Dollar Remains Subdued

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US Dollar Remains Subdued

The US dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies amid signs the US economy may have hit a rough patch in April. Meanwhile, ongoing tensions in the Ukraine kept risk sentiment tame, as the Japanese yen climbed in intraday trade.

The US dollar index fell further below the 80.0 handle Friday. The index fell more than 0.1 percent to 79.69, poised for a weekly decline of more than 0. 2 percent. The greenback held steady versus the Canadian dollar and euro.

The dollar fell against the British pound despite mixed UK data. UK retail sales rose 4.2 percent annually in March, the Office for National Statistics reported today. However, mortgage approvals tumbled last month, the British Bankers Association confirmed. The unexpected fall is unlikely to deter analysts from the view that the UK housing sector continues to power on.

The GBPUSD rose to a daily high of 1.6827. The pair had consolidated at 1.6815 in the morning trade, up nearly 0.1 percent.

Market sentiment was lower Friday amid escalating tensions in the Ukraine. Several pro-Russian rebels were killed by Ukrainian troops Thursday, while Russia started amassing troops near the Ukrainian border. Risk-off trade supported the Japanese yen. The USDJPY pair was down more than 0.2 percent to 102.0350.

The US dollar, having failed to generate any momentum from upbeat durable goods orders, had a disappointing week. The news wire heats up again next week with several US data releases, culminating in the April nonfarm payrolls report scheduled for Friday. Ahead of the employment release will be a key Federal Reserve rate decision and monetary policy announcement. Since December, the Fed has pared $30 billion from its monthly bond buying program.

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