The dollar moved slightly lower against the other major currencies in subdued trade on Friday, as investors eyed the release of U.S. manufacturing data later in the day and as they still remained cautious following the U.K. Brexit vote.
GBP/USD slipped 0.16% to 1.3288, off the 31-year low of 1.3122 set on Monday, a level not seen since 1985. The two-day selloff in sterling seen last Friday and Monday was the largest in recent history.
The pound was still recovering from the sharp losses posted after Britain’s shock decision last week to leave the European Union.
Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, indicated on Thursday that more stimulus may be needed over the summer, sparking expectations for an upcoming rate cut.
Investors shrugged off a report releases earlier by research group Markit saying that its U.K. manufacturing purchasing manager’s index rose to 52.1 last month from a reading of 50.1 in May. That was its highest level since January 2016.
Analysts had expected the index to drop back into contraction at 49.9 in May.
Meanwhile, safe-haven currencies were boosted after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data sparked fresh concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.
USD/JPY declined 0.58% at 102.62, while USD/CHF fell 0.27% at 0.9733.
Data on Friday showed that China’s Caixin manufacturing PMI fell to 48.6 in June from 49.2 the previous month, compared to expectations for a downtick to 49.1.
At the same time, China’s official manufacturing PMI came in at 50.0 last month from 50.1 in May, in line with expectations.
In Japan, data earlier showed that household spending declined by 1.5% in May, compared to expectations for a 0.2% slip.
A separate report showed that Tokyo’s consumer price index fell an annualized rate of 0.5% in June, while core CPI, which excludes fresh food, also slipped by 0.5%.
In addition, the Bank of Japan said its Tankan manufacturing index held steady at 6 in the second quarter, beating expectations for a reading of 4.
EUR/USD edged up 0.19% to 1.1127, while EUR/GBP gained 0.49% to 0.8374.
Eurostat said on Friday that the euro zone’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.1%, from April’s reading of 10.2%. The reading was in line with forecasts and the lowest since July 2011.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were higher, with AUD/USD up 0.43% at 0.7483 and with NZD/USD advancing 0.64% to 0.7181.
Elsewhere, USD/CAD held steady at 1.2925.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.18% at 95.79.