US dollar firms on positive US data amidst light trade

US dollar firms on positive US data amidst light trade

Mubasher: The dollar steadied against its major peers on Friday, having tapped its highest level overnight in two weeks and a half as official figures indicated a resilient US economy, according to Reuters.

It is worth noting that most of financial markets were closed for the Good Friday Easter holiday. Although currency markets remained open, the volume is set to be quiet.

By 8:52 am GMT, the US dollar index, which traces the greenback against six major rivals, was at 97.334, after climbing as high as 97.485 overnight, the highest recorded since 12 April.

US retail sales growth recorded the strongest reading since one year and a half last March, mainly fuelled by higher sales of new cars and trucks.

This was the latest of a slew of positive data indicating that the US economic growth picked up steam in the first quarter of this year.

“In addition to the recent upticks in Chinese data, the latest US retail sales numbers have helped to ease investor worries about the global economy,” Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management senior strategist Masahiro Ichikawa was quoted by Reuters.

The strong picture of the US economy was further underpinned by another drop in the number of jobless individuals applying for unemployment claims to the lowest level in almost 50 years.