* U.S. economic data disappoints, weighs on dollar
* Euro helped by firm euro zone business activity
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019
(Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The dollar on Thursday recovered from
earlier losses spurred by soft U.S. economic data, as investors
consolidated positions and looked for fresh trading incentives amid
U.S.-China trade negotiations and talks related to Britain's exit from
the European Union.
The greenback earlier fell, hurt by weaker-than-expected U.S.
economic data that affirmed expectations the Federal Reserve will hold
U.S. interest rates steady this year.
"We had weak U.S. data earlier that pushed the dollar lower,
but now that move is over," said John Doyle, vice president of
dealing and trading at Tempus Inc. in Washington.
"Right now, we're kind of stuck in some boring, tight ranges.
We were kind of hoping for some events to shake things loose, but that
didn't really happen and we're sort of looking for the next
driver," he added.
Doyle noted that those drivers could very well be related to
developments on U.S.-China trade talks and Brexit negotiations.
The U.S. data came a day after minutes of the Fed's monetary
policy last month said patience was needed when it came to tightening
rates, noting a pause in rate hikes gave it time to observe the
effects of past increases amid a global economic slowdown.
New orders for U.S.-made capital goods, in particular,
unexpectedly fell in December, data showed on Thursday, amid declining
demand for machinery and primary metals, pointing to sluggish business
spending on equipment that could crimp economic growth.
"Overall, the durable goods data provide further reason to
think that economic growth will soon slow to below its 2 percent
potential pace, which will keep the Fed on hold throughout this
year," said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist, at Capital
Economics in London.
Thursday's data also showed that the Philadelphia Fed's
manufacturing activity index dropped to a reading of -4.1 this month
from 17.0 in January. That was the first negative reading since May
In afternoon trading, the dollar index, a gauge of its value
against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.2 percent at
The dollar, however, fell 0.2 percent against the yen to 110.69
yen , sliding for the first time in five days.
But the greenback gained against the Swiss franc and sterling .
The euro, meanwhile, was little changed versus the dollar, at
$1.1343 , earlier rising after surveys showed business activity was
surprisingly firm in February, particularly in France.
French business activity rose more than expected, though the
German PMI number was more of a mixed picture.
A bunch of weak data since January has undermined support for the
euro, prompting investors to revise down their inflation expectations
for the coming months, and pulled core bond yields lower.
A Citibank economic surprise index shows the euro zone indicator
is still wallowing near six-month lows hit last month.
Currency bid prices at 3:01PM (2001 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change
YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1331 $1.1335 -0.04%
-1.20% +1.1366 +1.1321
Dollar/Yen JPY= 110.6800 110.8500 -0.15%
+0.38% +110.8700 +110.5800
Euro/Yen EURJPY= 125.44 125.67 -0.18%
-0.62% +125.8500 +125.3300
Dollar/Swiss CHF= 1.0012 1.0008 +0.04%
+2.02% +1.0022 +0.9995
Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3035 1.3049 -0.11%
+2.18% +1.3094 +1.3027
Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3225 1.3174 +0.39%
-3.02% +1.3231 +1.3162
Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7078 0.7163 -1.19%
+0.41% +0.7207 +0.7072
Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1348 1.1349 -0.01%
+0.84% +1.1368 +1.1342
Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8693 0.8685 +0.09%
-3.24% +0.8703 +0.8666
NZ NZD= 0.6804 0.6855 -0.74%
+1.30% +0.6876 +0.6798
Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.6340 8.5895 +0.52%
-0.05% +8.6441 +8.5813
Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.7861 9.7382 +0.49%
-1.21% +9.7914 +9.7368
Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.3699 9.3203 +0.48%
+4.53% +9.3729 +9.3034
Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.6200 10.5692 +0.48%
+3.47% +10.6311 +10.5591
Citi Economic Surprise Index
(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernadette Baum
and James Dalgleish)
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