By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — The dollar was mainly flat in early trade in Europe on Monday, set for a quiet day of trading on a public holiday in the U.K., the region’s biggest forex trading hub.
The euro started the day on a positive note, after German retail sales for March turned out considerably higher than expected, up 7.7% on the month as the country briefly loosened its lockdown restrictions. February’s data were also revised up to show a 2.7% gain instead of the 1.2% originally reported.
However, there is likely to be little momentum for the euro from the data, given that Europe’s largest economy already tightened its Covid-19 rules again in April.
By 3 AM ET (0700 GMT), the dollar index was down less than 0.1% at 91.218, holding on to most of the gains it made on Friday thanks to the relative strength of the U.S. economy.
The euro was up 0.2% at $1.2041, while commodity currencies such as the Canadian and New Zealand dollars were both moderately lower after a strong bull run in recent weeks.
More timely data from the Eurozone are due later Monday in the shape of manufacturing purchasing manager indices. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing survey will be published at 10 AM ET.
There was little global drama for markets to digest over the weekend. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told U.S. television that there was no inflationary impact from the government’s spending plans, as the new spending on families and on infrastructure will be spread out over years.
In emerging markets, the Indian rupee remained under pressure after the world’s sixth-largest economy posted another daily record for deaths from Covid-19. Various Indian states held elections at the weekend, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party appears to have suffered a strong backlash against his poor handling of the crisis. The BJP fell well short of its goal of winning the state of West Bengal, home to 90 million people and the Kalkota metropolitan area.
The dollar was up 0.1% against the rupee at 74.17.