The U.S. dollar traded firm against most of its major counterparts on Friday, extending recent gains, as the focus remains on the upcoming monetary policy meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Thursday’s data showing an unexpected increase in U.S. retail sales in the month of August, and data released by the University of Michigan that showed a modest improvement in consumer sentiment in September supported dollar’s uptick.

The Fed is widely expected to leave monetary policy unchanged but could address the outlook for its asset purchase program.

The minutes of the Fed’s last meeting signaled the central bank was prepared to begin scaling back asset purchases by the end of the year.

A report released by the University of Michigan showed U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded less than expected in September.

The report said the consumer sentiment index inched up by 71.0 in September from 70.3 in August. Economists had expected the index to rise to 72.2.

The modest increase came after the consumer sentiment index tumbled to its lowest level since December of 2011 in the previous month.

“The steep August falloff in consumer sentiment ended in early September, but the small gain still meant that consumers expected the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade,” said Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin.

The dollar index climbed to 93.22, gaining more than 0.3%.

Against the Euro, the dollar firmed to 1.1731, gaining 0.3% from 1.1766 a unit of Euro. Eurozone inflation accelerated as initially estimated in August to a near decade high, rising to 3% in the month from 2.2% in July, final data from Eurostat showed. This was the highest since November 2011 and also exceeded the European Central Bank’s 2% target.

The euro area current account surplus remained unchanged in July, coming in at EUR 22 billion, data published by the European Central Bank showed.

The Pound Sterling weakened against the dollar and is fetching $1.3733 a unit, compared with $1.3790 Thursday evening. U.K. retail sales declined for the fourth straight month in August, the Office for National Statistics reported.

Retail sales including auto fuel dropped unexpectedly by 0.9% month-on-month after declining 2.8% in July. Sales were forecast to climb 0.5%.

The Yen weakened to 109.96 a dollar from 109.74.

Against the Aussie, the dollar strengthened to 0.7267 from 0.7292.

The Swiss franc dropped to 0.9322 a dollar, giving the latter a near 0.6% gain. The Loonie drifted down to 1.2760 a dollar from 1.2678.


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