The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Friday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. Traders are gripped with uncertainty at the end of the trading week after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI.
Flynn revealed he is cooperating with prosecutors in the investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election. Flynn pleaded guilty to “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI regarding conversations with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Traders are also keeping an eye on the Senate vote Friday. After initially being forced a delay a vote on a massive tax reform bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., declared Friday that GOP leaders have been successful in winning over enough reluctant lawmakers to pass the legislation.
“We have the votes,” McConnell told reporters as he walked to the Senate floor following a Republican conference meeting.
At least fifty Republican Senators have agreed to support the bill, allowing the GOP to pass the legislation with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index dipped to 58.2 in November from 58.7 in October, although a positive reading still indicates growth in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 58.4.
Construction spending in the U.S. jumped by much more than anticipated in the month of October, the Commerce Department revealed in a report on Friday.
The report said construction spending surged up by 1.4 percent to an annual rate of $1.242 trillion in October after rising by 0.3 percent to a revised $1.225 trillion in September. Economists had expected spending to climb by 0.5 percent.
The dollar climbed to a high of $1.1850 against the Euro Friday, but has since retreated to around $1.19, nearly unchanged for the day.
Eurozone manufacturing activity expanded notably in November underpinned by production and new orders, survey data from IHS Markit showed Friday. The final factory Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 60.1 in November, its best reading apart from April 2000’s series-record high. The score improved from 58.5 in October.
The buck has climbed to around $1.3475 against the pound sterling Friday afternoon, from an early low of $1.3549.
The UK manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in more than four years in November, driven by production and new orders, data from IHS Markit showed Friday.
The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 58.2 in November from a revised 56.6 in October. This was the highest score since August 2013. The score was forecast to rise moderately to 56.5 from October’s originally estimated value of 56.3.
The greenback rose to a 2-week high of Y112.875 against the Japanese Yen Friday morning, but has since retreated to around Y112.035.
The average of household spending in Japan was flat on a yearly basis in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That beat forecasts for a decline of 0.3 percent on year, which would have been unchanged from the September reading.
The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday, unchanged from the September reading and in line with expectations.
Consumer prices in Japan were up just 0.2 percent on year in October, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That was in line with expectations and down from 0.7 percent in September.
The manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in November, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Friday with a 44-month high PMI score of 53.6. That’s up from 52.8 in October, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction
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