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    Euro cuts losses after soft UoM data

    The single currency cut losses against the greenback in a quiet trade on Friday, following the release of soft U.S. consumer sentiment data and as Fed’s recent statement continued to weigh on the dollar.
    The University of Michigan in a preliminary report stated that its consumer sentiment index dropped to 90.0 this month from 91.7 in February. Economists expected the index to rise to 92.2.
    The greenback remained under pressure after the Federal Reserve decided to leave its monetary policy unchanged on Wednesday and said that it will probably hike rates two times in 2016 instead of four times, as initially projected.
    The central bank’s policy makers commented that the U.S. economy encounters hazards from an uncertain global economy, although upbeat employment data and modest growth would allow a tightening of monetary policy later in the year.
    The single currency eased off against the dollar at 1.12067, to reach 1.1303 during early North American trade. The euro ticked down against the British pound as well, with EUR/GBP sliding 0.17% to 0.7802.
    Elsewhere, the minutes of the Japanese central bank’s January policy meeting revealed that the policy makers made two proposals; the one to enlarge the central bank’s asset-buying programme and the other to implement negative interest rates to asset purchases.

    As the minutes indicated, the Bank of Japan made a decision to apply negative interest rates after several members argued that this move would assist in alleviating Japan’s deflationary mindset. Consequently, the dollar went up 0.09% against the yen to trade at 111.49.  
    The greenback moved moderately against the British pound and the franc, with GBP/USD trading at 1.4474 and USD/CHF at 0.9671.
    In the meantime, the Australian and New Zealand dollars lost ground, with AUD/USD losing 0.31% to 0.7624 and NZD/USD falling 0.67% to 0.6804.
    The U.S. dollar was steady against its Canadian counterpart at 1.2981, higher than Thursday’s five-month bottom of 1.2941. The loonie remained underpinned as oil priced went above $40 a barrel, in the wake of new expectations for a potential production cut.
    The U.S. dollar index went up 0.19% at 94.96, still near the 94.61 low reached overnight.

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