Investing.com

Investing.com - The dollar traded largely lower against most major currencies on Friday after a widely-watched gauge of consumer sentiment coupled with wholesale pricing data missed expectations.



In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was up 0.26% at 1.3904.



The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index fell to 79.9 for March, from 81.6 in February, defying market expectations for a rise to 82.0.



Also on Friday, data revealed that the U.S. producer price index fell 0.1% in February, confounding expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.2% increase the previous month.



Core producer price inflation, which excludes food, energy and trade, slipped 0.2% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise, after a 0.2% gain in January.



Friday''s data reminded investors that the Federal Reserve will take its time dismantling its monthly bond-buying program, which weakens the dollar as long as it remains in effect.



Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after Russia launched new military exercises near its border with Ukraine on Thursday, showing no sign of backing down on plans to annex Crimea.



U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. and Europe should take steps if a referendum on Crimea joining Russia takes place on Sunday as planned.



Kerry was set to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday in a last attempt to defuse tension between Moscow and the West.



Markets remained on edge after data on Thursday showed that Chinese industrial production rose 8.6% in the first two months of 2014, missing market expectations for an increase of 9.5%, while Chinese retail sales rose by a smaller-than-forecast 11.8% in the same period.



Meanwhile in Europe, Germany''s monthly inflation rate came in at 0.5% in February and 1.2% on year, both figures in line with market expectations.



Also in Europe, the European Union''s statistical arm Eurostat reported earlier that the number of employed individuals rose 0.1% in the fourth quarter of last year, beating market expectations for an unchanged reading.



The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.49% at 101.31, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.21% at 0.8726.



The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.04% at 1.6631.



The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.21% at 1.1097, AUD/USD down 0.06% at 0.9020 and NZD/USD down 0.11% at 0.8533.



The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.21% at 79.55.











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