The U.S. dollar retreated against other major currencies Friday and fell against Japanese yen for the first time in six days as the spread of Ebola virus sparked market demand for safe-haven assets.
A New York doctor who returned recently from West Africa was tested positive for Ebola late Thursday, becoming the city's first diagnosed case, sparking panic among New Yorkers. Investors turned to safe-haven assets like Japanese yen and Swiss francs to avoid potential losses.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, was down 0.17 percent at 85.699 in late trading.
Market is awaiting the two-day policy meeting of Federal Reserve starting from Oct. 28. The central bank pledged after its September meeting that it will maintain the interest rates near zero for a "considerable time". The overall upward momentum of U.S. economy lately has bolstered market expectation that the Fed may raise the benchmark rate before mid-2015.
On the economic front, U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that sales of U.S. new single-family houses in September rose 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 467,000, the highest since July 2008.
In late New York trading, the euro increased to 1.2666 dollars from 1.2653 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound rose to 1.6078 dollars from 1.6031 dollars. The Australian dollar went up to 0.8798 dollar from 0.8761 dollar.
The dollar bought 108.07 Japanese yen, lower than 108.19 yen of the previous session. The greenback went down to 0.9523 Swiss franc from 0.9536 Swiss franc, and moved down to 1.1229 Canadian dollars from 1.1234 Canadian dollars.