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U.S. Dollar Higher Amid Mounting Trade Worries

06:00, 17th May 2019

(RTTNews) - The U.S. dollar gained ground against its most major counterparts in the European session on Friday, as U.S.-China trade tensions heated up, with Beijing intensifying its rhetoric over trade with Washington.

President Donald Trump has sought to blame China for backing out of a nearly completed trade deal, although a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce claims the U.S. is responsible for serious setbacks in the trade talks.

Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng accused the Trump administration of "bullying behavior" with a recent increase in tariffs, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua.

"It is regrettable that the U.S. side unilaterally escalated trade disputes, which resulted in severe negotiating setbacks," Gao said.

He added, "We urge the U.S. side to correct wrongdoings as soon as possible to avoid causing heavier damages to businesses and consumers in both countries and dragging down the global economy."

Investors await the University of Michigan's preliminary report on consumer sentiment for May, due at 10:00 am ET. The consumer sentiment index is expected to inch up to 97.5 in May from 97.2 in April.

The Conference Board is also due to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of April. Economists expect the leading economic index to rise by 0.3 percent. The currency held steady against its key rivals in the Asian session, barring the yen.

The greenback spiked up to 1.0113 against the franc, setting a 4-day high. The greenback is seen finding resistance around the 1.03 level.

The greenback moved up to a 2-week high of 1.1158 against the euro from yesterday's closing value of 1.1173. If the greenback rises further, it is likely to challenge resistance around the 1.10 level. Data from the Eurostat showed that Eurozone's core inflation, which excludes prices of energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, accelerated in April at a faster than estimated pace to its highest level in two years.

Core inflation climbed to 1.3 percent in April, which was higher than the initial estimate of 1.2 percent. In March, the figure was 0.8 percent.

The greenback appreciated to 1.2736 against the pound, its biggest since January 15. This follows a low of 1.2798 hit at 5:30 pm ET. On the upside, 1.26 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The greenback strengthened to a 4-1/2-month high of 0.6873 against the aussie, 9-day high of 0.6525 against the kiwi and a new 3-week high of 1.3514 against the loonie, off its early lows of 0.6897, 0.6547 and 1.3457, respectively. The next possible resistance for the greenback is seen around 0.66 against the aussie, 0.64 against the kiwi and 1.37 against the loonie.

By contrast, following a weekly high of 110.03 hit at 9:00 pm ET, the greenback pulled back to 109.49 against the yen. Next key support for the greenback is seen around the 108.00 region.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said that Japan's extremely low interest rates are likely to remain at the current levels for an extended period given the uncertainties surrounding economic activity and prices.

Kuroda said the Bank would "maintain the current extremely low levels of short- and long-term interest rates for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020, taking into account uncertainties regarding economic activity and prices including developments in overseas economies and the effects of the scheduled consumption tax hike."

The U.S. leading indicators for April and University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for May are scheduled for release in the New York session.

At 1:40 pm ET, Federal Reserve Governor Richard Clarida will deliver a speech about the Federal Reserve's policy strategy, tools, and communication practices at an event hosted by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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