Dollar turns broadly higher on positive U.S. data

The dollar turned broadly higher against the other major currencies on Friday, as the release of upbeat U.S. inflation data supported demand for the greenback, while investors eyed an upcoming U.S. consumer sentiment report.

The dollar edged higher against the euro, with EUR/USD down 0.15% to 1.3867.

Official data showed that U.S. producer price inflation rose 0.5% in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain, after a 0.1% fall the previous month.

Core producer price inflation, which excludes food, energy and trade, advanced 0.6% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.2% decline in February.

The report came a day after the Labor Department reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending April 4 fell by 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 332,000.

Continuing jobless claims declined to 2.77 million, the lowest since January 2008.

Meanwhile, the euro remained mildly supported after Greece made a successful return to the financial markets on Thursday, raising €3 billion in its first bond auction since 2010, when Athens sought its first bailout.

The pound was lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD sliding 0.34% to 1.6727.

The dollar was fractionally lower against the yen, with USD/JPY easing 0.09% to 101.44 and steady against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF inching up 0.01% to 0.8767.

In the minutes of the Bank of Japan's March policy meeting, board members said 'it is appropriate for the BOJ to continue to steadily pursue quantitative and qualitative monetary easing in accordance with the current guidelines.'

The minutes fuelled speculation that the central bank could implement additional stimulus measures in the near future, although such a possibility was not mentionned by board members at the March policy meeting.

The greenback was higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD slipping 0.27% to 0.9389, NZD/USD edging down 0.15% to 0.8667 and USD/CAD gaining 0.39% to 1.0977.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.15% to 79.60.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release the preliminary report on the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index.