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Dollar Scores Strong Gains Against Peers

Dollar Scores Strong Gains Against Peers
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The U.S. dollar firmed up against most major currencies on Friday amid expectations the U.S. government will announce an aid package to fight the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and boost economic growth.

Towards the end of the session, the U.S. President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency, paving way for freeing up as much as $50 billion in additional funding to combat the outbreak and allow officials to waive certain regulations to accelerate testing and care for coronavirus patients.

Trump said during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden that he expects the U.S. to have 1.4 million coronavirus test kits available within a week and a total of 5 million kits within the next month.

The president said he is also working with private sector companies to develop “drive thru” testing facilities across the country.

However, Trump said he does not want everybody running out and taking the test, saying only people with certain symptoms should be tested.

The dollar index rose to 98.81, and despite paring some gains later on, stayed firmly in positive territory at 98.60, up 1.16% from previous close. The dollar has gained nearly 3.5% in the week.

Against the Euro, the dollar strengthened to $1.1098 from $1.1185, gaining about 0.8%.

Against Pound Sterling, it firmed up to $1.2327, gaining nearly 2% from Thursday’s close of $1.2569.

The dollar rallied 3.28% to 108.07 yen from Thursday’s close of 104.63 yen.

With the AUD-USD pair at 0.6192, the dollar gained more than 0.7% against the Aussie.

Against Swiss franc, the dollar gained more than 1% at 0.9534, while against the loonie, it was down nearly 0.6% at 1.3844.

In economic news, according to a report from the University of Michigan, U.S. consumer sentiment showed a relatively modest deterioration in the month of March.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index slid to 95.9 in March after rising to 101.0 in February, although the index still came in above economist estimates for a reading of 95.0.

The pullback by the headline index primarily reflected a notable decrease by the index of consumer expectations, which tumbled to 85.3 in March from 92.1 in February.

The current economic conditions index showed a more modest drop, slipping to 112.5 in March from 114.8 in February.

According to the data released by the Labor Department, U.S. import prices fell by 0.5% in February after inching up by a revised 0.1% in January. Economists had expected import prices to slump by 0.8% compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

The drop in import prices came as prices for fuel imports plummeted by 7.7% in February after falling by 0.6% in January, with petroleum prices leading the way lower.

Excluding fuel prices, import prices rose by 0.3% in February after edging up by 0.2% in the previous month.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com