The U.S. dollar ended flat against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday as dovish remarks from a Federal Reserve official along with lackluster U.S. economic data weighed.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was almost unchanged at 100.22 late Friday.
The index was up 0.78% for the week, snapping three weeks of losses.
For the month, the dollar index fell 0.9% and was down almost 3% in the first quarter amid growing doubts over whether the Trump administration’s economic proposals would boost the U.S. economy and allow the Fed to tighten policy more aggressively.
Sentiment on the dollar was hit after New York Fed President William Dudley said Friday the central bank was in no rush to tighten monetary policy.
The remarks came after data showing that U.S. consumer spending ticked up just 0.1% last month. The data indicated that the Fed is likely to stick to its cautious outlook on hiking rates.
Higher rates typically support the dollar by making U.S. assets more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
The dollar was lower against the yen late Friday, with USD/JPY down 0.47% at 111.39. The pair ended the month down 1.2%.
The euro was weaker, with EUR/USD down 0.2% at 1.0655, the lowest since March 15.
The single currency ended the week down 1.7% as investors’ unwound expectations that the European Central Bank is moving closer to tightening monetary policy.
Sterling pushed higher, with GBP/USD advancing 0.65% to 1.2550.
Earlier Friday, data confirmed that the UK economy grew 0.7% in the fourth quarter, but indicated that the outlook for growth will weaken as Brexit plays out.
Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar pushed higher, with USD/CAD slipping 0.18% to 1.3318 after robust data on domestic economic growth for January raised expectations that the Bank of Canada could hike rates sooner than had been anticipated.
For the week, the loonie, as the Canadian dollar is also known, rose 0.6% and ended the quarter with a 1% gain.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Wednesday’s Fed minutes for fresh indications on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike ahead of Friday’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report.
Investors will also be eyeing a trio of surveys on UK private sector activity amid ongoing concerns over the economic impact of Brexit.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, April 3
Financial markets in Shanghai will be closed for a holiday.
Japan is to publish the results of the Tankan surveys of manufacturing and service sector activity.
Australia is to release data on retail sales and building approvals.
The UK is to release survey data on manufacturing activity.
In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to release its manufacturing survey.
Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker are all set to speak.
Tuesday, April 4
New Zealand is to release private sector data on business confidence.
Financial markets in Shanghai and Hong Kong will be closed for a holiday.
Australia is to report on the trade balance and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest interest rate decision is due.
The UK is to release survey data on construction activity.
Canada and the U.S. are both to release trade data, while the U.S. is also to report on factory orders.
Wednesday, April 5
The UK is to release survey data on service sector activity.
The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payroll report and later in the day the ISM is to release its non-manufacturing survey.
The Fed is to publish the minutes of its March meeting, where it hiked rates and stuck to its projection for two more hikes this year.
Thursday, April 6
Germany is to release figures on factory orders.
The ECB is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.
Canada is to publish data on building permits.
The U.S. is to produce the weekly report on jobless claims.
Friday, April 7
The UK is to release industry data on house price inflation as well as reports on manufacturing production and the trade balance.
Canada is to publish its monthly employment report.
The U.S. is to round up the week with the closely watched report on nonfarm payrolls.