U.S. Dollar Remains Tepid as Economy Cools

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The U.S. dollar was flat on Friday after data showed that consumers spent less and companies cut their equipment orders in August.

Consumer spending on goods and services rose 0.1% in August, while durable goods orders inched up 0.2% compared to a rise of 2% in July, according to separate reports from the Commerce Department.

The numbers suggest that the economy is cooling after a strong acceleration in the second quarter, putting focus on next week’s monthly jobs report. Federal Reserve officials cut interest rates by a quarter point for the second time in two months due to slowing growth in the global economy and worries about trade.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was flat at 98.722 as of 11:04 AM ET (15:04 GMT).

The Japanese yen, which is seen as a safe haven in times of market turmoil, fell, with USD/JPYrising 0.3% to 108.14.

Sterling recovered from earlier lows, but still remained in the red after Ireland’s Tánaiste Simon Coveney said that the EU was ready to negotiate, but that the U.K. had not yet sent a proposal for a Brexit deal. Uncertainty over Brexit remains as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces political pressures at home. The U.K. is expected to leave the EU on Oct. 31.

The pound lost 0.1% to 1.2309, while EUR/USD rose 0.2% to 1.0947.