Daily Afternoon Report 17.03.2017

The dollar held onto modest gains but remained near five-week lows against other major currencies on Friday, after the release of mixed U.S. data, although the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance this week continued to weigh on the greenback.

EUR/USD slipped 0.29% to 1.0735, just off a five-week high of 1.0783 hit overnight.

In a preliminary report, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 97.6 in March from 95.7 the previous month, compared to expectations for an increase to 97.0.

The report came shortly after official data showed that U.S. industrial production was flat in February, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise. Industrial production slipped 0.1% in January, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.3% decline.

Manufacturing production rose 0.5% last month, exceeding expectations for a 0.5% increase.

The greenback had weakened broadly after the Fed’s policy statement was seen as less hawkish than expected by sticking to projections of three total rate hikes in 2017 and not four as some traders had hoped for.

GBP/USD held steady at 1.2364, off an earlier two-week peak of 1.2399.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY dropped 0.64% to 112.58, while USD/CHF added 0.17% to 0.9981.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars remained stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.23% at 0.7694 and with NZD/USD gaining 0.30% to 0.7007.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD advanced 0.38% to 1.3367, off Thursday’s two-week trough of 1.3274.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.11% at 100.19, still close to a five-week low of 99.97 hit earlier in the day.