U.S. dollar climbs after economic data

NEW YORK, March 17 — The U.S. dollar traded higher against most major currencies on Friday as investors were sifting through a batch of economic data from the country.
Following a decline of 0.3 percent in January, U.S. industrial production rose 1.1 percent in February, well above market estimates of a 0.4-percent gain, the Federal Reserve reported Friday.
The number of job openings increased to 6.3 million on the last business day of January, beating market expectations of 5.8 million, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
The preliminary reading of U.S. consumer sentiment in March rose to 102, higher than economists’ estimates of 98.8, according to a survey released by the University of Michigan on Friday.
Meanwhile, U.S. privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,236,000, missing market consensus, the Commerce Department announced Friday.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, increased 0.11 percent at 90.231 in late trading.
In late New York trading, the euro decreased to 1.2284 dollars from 1.2303 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound rose to 1.3939 dollars from 1.3934 U.S. dollars in the previous session. The Australian dollar decreased to 0.7712 dollar from 0.7798 dollar.
The U.S. dollar bought 106.09 Japanese yen, lower than 106.25 Japanese yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar increased to 0.9528 Swiss franc from 0.9516 Swiss franc, and it was up to 1.3095 Canadian dollars from 1.3057 Canadian dollars.