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Dollar Gains Against Major Counterparts

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The U.S. dollar firmed against its peers on Friday with rising inflation fueling prospects of the Federal Reserve tightening its monetary policy. Concerns about the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war also contributed to the dollar’s uptick.

The Fed is scheduled to announce its monetary policy on Wednesday (March 17). The central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points.

A report released by the University of Michigan showed the consumer sentiment index slid to 59.7 in March from 62.8 in February. Economists had expected the index to dip to 61.4. With the bigger than expected decrease, the consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 59.5 in September 2011.

One-year inflation expectations jumped to 5.4 percent in March from 4.9 percent in February, while five-year inflation expectations held at 3.0 percent.

While the report showed index of current economic conditions edged down to 67.8 in March from 68.2 in February, the index of consumer expectations slumped to 54.4 from 59.4.

The dollar index climbed to 99.16, gaining about 0.65 percent.

Against the Euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0913, firming from $1.0990.

The dollar is at $1.3036 against Pound Sterling, gaining from $1.3085.

The dollar is trading at 117.29 yen, a five-year high, strengthening from the previous close of 116.13 yen.

Against the Aussie, the dollar is at 0.7294, gaining from 0.7358.

The Swiss franc is hovering around CHF 0.0350 against the dollar, while the Loonie is trading at C$ 1.2745 against the dollar.

Data from Statistics Canada showed that employment jumped by 336,600 jobs in February after falling by 200,100 jobs in January. Economists had expected employment to rise by 160,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in February from 6.5% in January, while economists had expected the unemployment rate to drop to 6.2 percent.

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