U.S. Dollar Falls as Business Activity Nears Stalling

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The U.S. dollar lost in late trading on Wednesday, as S&P manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed that business activity in the U.S. private sector was at a softening pace in early August.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.14 percent to 103.4197 in late trading.

S&P Global said on Wednesday that its flash U.S. Composite PMI index, which tracks manufacturing and service sectors, fell to a reading of 50.4 in August from 52 in July, the biggest drop since November 2022.

“A near-stalling of business activity in August raises doubts over the strength of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Wednesday’s cool reading may be viewed positively by the Federal Reserve, which is keen to see activity cool to lower inflation. The U.S. dollar came under pressure and erased its daily gains after the PMI data.

PMI of the eurozone retreated to 47 in August, compared to 48.6 in July, which was published earlier. The services sector PMI index fell from 50.9 in July to 45.2 in August, the first time it has dipped below 50 this year.

In late New York trading, the euro increased to 1.0858 U.S. dollars from 1.0852 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound was down to 1.2716 U.S. dollars from 1.2738 dollars.

The U.S. dollar bought 144.7830 Japanese yen, lower than 145.8630 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar was down to 0.8778 Swiss francs from 0.8800 Swiss francs, and it fell to 1.3542 Canadian dollars from 1.3552 Canadian dollars. The U.S. dollar fell to 10.9193 Swedish Krona from 10.9374 Swedish Krona.