The euro was mixed against other major currencies on Friday in New York with most of the European markets closed for May Day. The single currency was steady versus the dollar, higher against the yen and lower against the sterling.
The euro was little-changed versus the dollar, moving near 1.3270 in mid-day trading. The single currency reached a 2 1/2-week high of 1.3385 yesterday but gave back the gains later in the day.
The Institute for Supply Management said its index of activity in the sector rose to 40.1 in April from 36.3 in March, although a reading below 50 indicates a continued contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 38.4.
Separately, the Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for the month of April was unexpectedly upwardly revised to a reading of 65.1 from the previously reported reading of 61.9. The index was unexpected to be unrevised.
The European currency slipped to a three-day low of 0.8890 against the British pound. The single currency has been choppy with the pound since falling off a two-week high of 0.9081 late last last week.
UK mortgage approvals reached a ten-month high in March suggesting an improvement in the housing market, a Bank of England report revealed Friday. However, the growth in overall net lending to individuals hit a record low.
The euro edged higher against the Japanese yen and extended a 2 1/2 to 1.3233. The European currency has been trending higher for three days, coming off a seven-week low of 124.37.
The U.S. Commerce Department said factory orders slipped 0.9 percent for March, reversing some of the previous month's rebound. February saw a revised increase of 0.7 percent after an orders drop of 3.5 percent in January.
Ireland was the only Eurozone economy that released statistical data. The country's Central Statistical Office announced that the volume of retail sales rose 5.7% month-on-month in February, compared with a 20.5% drop in the previous month. Year-on-year, retail sales dropped 20.9% in February, after falling 26.6% in January.
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