The dollar edged up in Asian trading today, poised for weekly gains after solid U.S. economic data contrasted with figures showing euro zone inflation cooling. The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 100.50, up 0.9 percent for the week and not far from a two-week high of 100.60 hit overnight. Revised U.S. gross domestic product data on Thursday showed that U.S. fourth quarter growth slowed less than previously reported as consumer spending provided a boost that was partially offset by the largest gain in imports in two years.
Gold prices suffered the largest drop in a month as the US Dollar rose alongside Treasury bond yields, slowing demand for non-interest-bearing assets. The priced-in Fed rate hike outlook firmed, with the year-end level for the target Fed Funds rate implied in futures prices rising by the most in two weeks.
The dollar rallied 1 percent against South Africa’s rand to 13.410, its highest since early February, after President Jacob Zuma replaced the country’s finance minister. Zuma appointed Malusi Gigaba to replace Pravin Gordhan who was fired in a cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday evening.
Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar was flat on the day at 111.98 yen, up 0.5 percent for the week. Data released on Friday showed Japan’s core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in February from a year earlier, marking the fastest annual pace in nearly two years but still distant from the central bank’s ambitious 2 percent target.
Crude oil prices continued to rise building on gains following Wednesday’s upbeat DOE inventory data. The EIA monthly supply report and Baker Hughes rig count data are in focus from here and may cap gains if rising swing output continues to look ominous.
Sterling edged up 0.2 percent to $1.2490, on track for a slight gain in a week marked by volatile trading in a week in which British Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered the Brexit process.