NEW YORK, April 1 -- The U.S. dollar retreated against most of major currencies Monday as U.S. manufacturing sector expanded short of prediction given in March.
The Institute of Supply Management Monday reported that the U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for March stood at 51.3 percent, a decrease of 2.9 percentage points from February's reading, indicating expansion of the manufacturing sector slowed down.
The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, faster than previously thought, the Commerce Department said last week.
Analysts have different opinions about whether the Federal Reserve would slow its monetary easing measures. On the one hand, many economic indicators signaled a steady recovery; on the other hand, there are still uncertainties that may disturb the recovery.
The Bank of Japan will hold monetary policy meeting on Wednesday and Thursday, and this would be the first policy meeting for the new governor Haruhiko Kuroda. He has repeatedly said that he would do whatever it takes to reach the 2 percent inflation target in two years.
Meanwhile, investors are paying attention to U.S. employment data for March which is due to be released on Friday. Euro-zone employment data for February will be published Tuesday.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.2851 dollars from 1.2822 dollars of the previous session and the British pound climbed to 1.5232 dollars from 1.5187 dollars. The Australian dollar increased to 1.0424 dollars from 1.0414 dollars.
The dollar bought 93.36 Japanese yen, compared with 94.31 in the previous session. It fell to 0.9471 Swiss francs from 0.9490 Swiss francs and edged up to 1.0166 Canadian dollars from 1.0164 Canadian dollars of the previous trading day.