The U.S. dollar moved higher against its Forex partners during the Asian trade session on Friday. Economic data, released yesterday, showed that U.S. retail sales remain healthy.
The world’s largest economy is still growing at a steady pace for 2019 and this boosted the U.S currency to an eight month high against the safe-have Japanese yen.
For the month of December retail sales grew for the third month in a row. Labor data showed that the number of Americans looking for unemployment benefits fell for the fifth week in a row as the labor sector remains firm.
Other U.S. economic data showed that for January, manufacturing activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region rebounded. This number came in at an eight month high according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
The dollar gained ground against the Japanese yen as safe haven currencies lost appeal. The benchmark USD/JPY Forex market was last trading at its highest price since May 2019 at 110.24 yen during the Asian trade session.
The dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback in a basket against six other currency units, was also trading higher Friday. This index was up 0.1 percent by the afternoon, Hong Kong time, to trade at 97.3080.
The EUR/USD currency exchange rate was fairly flat at 1.1137.
Dollar Traders Wait on Consumer Sentiment Data due Later on Friday
On the U.S. economic calendar, Forex traders will look at the JOLTS jobs openings and housing data. The University of Michigan will release their preliminary inflation data. However the key release is the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.
Since the University of Michigan consumer index hit a 34 month low in August 2019, the index has been recovering steadily. This index has improved from the August reading of 89.8 to 99.3 seen in November. Traders are expecting this trend of improvement to continue in the month of December.