Currencies: Dollar on track for 0.7% weekly gain as trade and Trump comments weigh on rivals

The U.S. dollar index took aim at its biggest weekly gain in four weeks on Friday as its rivals struggled in the face of trade-war worries and comments from President Donald Trump during his Europe trip.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.14% which measures the dollar against six of its rivals, was actually down 0.1% at 94.710, after hitting its best level since early July earlier, according to FactSet data. For the week, the dollar gauge was set for a 0.7% gain, its biggest since the week ending June 15.

The New Zealand dollar USDNZD, +0.2218%  was in the limelight as the worst G-10 performer on Friday, after the kiwi dollar fell following weakening manufacturing data late Thursday.

The New Zealand currency last bought $0.6767, down from $0.6779 late Thursday in New York, earlier hitting its lowest since the beginning of the month, as most major currencies were rather rangebound late Friday ahead of the end of the week.

The British pound GBPUSD, +0.2120%  also weakened at the beginning of Friday’s trade in response to comments made by Trump in an interview with the Sun newspaper. Trump slammed U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s “soft” Brexit plan and said it would “kill” any potential bilateral trade deal. Later on at a joint press conference, however, Trump and May spoke of a U.S.-U.K. trade deal as a possibility.

See: Trump Today: President says a U.S.-U.K. trade deal is possible

“The U.K. can’t afford to alienate either the U.S. or the EU, its two largest foreign trade partners, and will not be able to choose an ‘either-or’ solution,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index.

“Trump’s comments come at a particularly bad time for May, who is facing bigger problems as her government is in a precarious balance after the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson earlier this week,” Cincotta said in a note.

Sterling last fetched $1.3235, up from $1.3206 late Thursday in New York. Earlier, the pound fell to its lowest dollar level since the beginning of the month, as the uncertainty over the U.K.’s economic future weighed on its currency.

Crowds had gathered in London Friday morning to hold protests, including a march and rally, against the president’s visit to the U.K.

Check out: What you need to know about the dollar-yen 6-month low

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