The U.S. dollar exhibited a mixed trend against major currencies on Friday, reacting to weak economic data and the news about coronavirus infections and U.S. President Trump’s threat to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods.
President Trump said on Thursday that his administration is crafting retaliatory measures over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept through the U.S. and crippled its economy. He added that the first phase of a multi-billion dollar trade bill the two countries signed in January is now of secondary importance.
The dollar index slipped to 98.78 before recovering to 99.08, recording a marginal gain over previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar was weaker by about 0.2%, at $1.0976, easing from $1.0953.
The pound sterling lost ground against the dollar, weakening to $1.2495 from $1.2594.
The dollar was down by about 0.25% against the Japanese currency, with a unit fetching 106.90 yen compared to 107.18 yen Thursday evening.
Against the Aussie, the greenback firmed up by 1.4% to $0.6421
The loonie was weak against the dollar with a unit of the U.S. currency fetching 1.4062 Canadian units.
Swiss franc was stronger at CHF 0.9617 a dollar.
A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed U.S. manufacturing activity continued to contract in the month of April. The ISM said its purchasing managers index slumped to 41.5 in April from 49.1 in March, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in manufacturing activity.
The manufacturing index showed a notable decrease compared to the previous month but still came in above economist estimates for a reading of 36.9.
With the decline, the purchasing managers index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 39.9 in April of 2009.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Commerce Department showed an unexpected 0.9% increase in construction spending in the month of March, after tumbling by 2.5% to a revised $1.348 trillion in February.
The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected construction spending to plunge by 3.5% compared to the 1.3% slump originally reported for the previous month.