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The U.S. dollar traded mixed against the most major currencies. Risk aversion by investors weighed on the greenback. The Greek presidential elections next week and restrictions on collateral for short-term loans by Chinese government led to investments in safe-haven assets.
The Greek government announced yesterday that it would hold presidential elections on Dec. 17. Analysts had not expected this decision.
The euro rose against the U.S. dollar despite the weaker-than-expected trade data from France. Industrial production in France declined 0.8% in October, missing expectations for a 0.2% gain, after the flat reading in September.
On a yearly basis, French industrial production dropped 1.0% in October, after a 0.3% decline in September.
Final non-farm payrolls in France decreased 0.3% in the third quarter, missing forecasts of a 0.2% decline, after the flat reading in the second quarter. The second quarter's figure was revised up from a 0.2 fall.
The British pound traded higher against the U.S. dollar despite the weaker-than-expected trade data from the U.K. The U.K. trade deficit fell to £9.6 billion in October from £10. 5 billion in September, missing expectations for a deficit of £9.5 billion. September's figure was revised down from a deficit of £9.8 billion.
The New Zealand dollar traded higher against the U.S. dollar in the absence of any major economic reports from New Zealand. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will release its interest rate decision later in the day.
The Australian dollar traded lower against the U.S. dollar. In the overnight trading session, the Aussie increased against the greenback after the mixed economic data from Australia. Home loans in Australia climbed 0.3% in October, exceeding expectations for a 0.2% rise, after a 0.4% decrease in September. September's figure was revised up from a 0.7% drop.
The Westpac Banking Corporation's consumer sentiment index for Australia fell 5.7% in December, after a 1.9% increase in November.
The Japanese yen rose against the U.S. dollar due to increasing demand for safe-haven yen. In the overnight trading session, the yen also increased against the greenback despite the weak economic data from Japan. Consumer confidence index in Japan declined to 37.7 points in November from 38.9 points in October. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 39.6 points.
The business survey index (BSI) of manufacturers' sentiment declined to 8.1 in fourth quarter from 12.7 in the third quarter, missing expectations for a rise to 13.1.
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