NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. dollar weakened against most major currencies Friday as the United States launched air strikes against militants in Iraq.
Japanese yen and Swiss franc strengthened versus their peers as the U.S. earlier Friday launched its first targeted airstrikes on the forces of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant by dropping two laser-guided bombs on its mobile artillery. The American troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011.
Moreover, the trade war between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis escalated, as western countries imposed punitive sanctions targeting Russia's finance, defense and energy sectors, while Moscow banned food imports from the West in retaliation.
U.S. economic data released on Friday came out mixed. U.S. wholesale inventories advanced 0.3 percent in June on a monthly basis, falling short of market estimates, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
Meanwhile, U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 2.5 percent annual rate during the second quarter of 2014, the Labor Department said Friday, beating analyst forecast. While unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses rose 0.6 percent in the quarter, under market expectations.
In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3410 dollars from 1.3359 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound decreased to 1.6766 dollars from 1.6833 dollars. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.9277 dollars from 0.9270 dollars.
The dollar bought 102.04 Japanese yen, lower than 102.07 yen of the previous session. The dollar went down to 0.9053 Swiss francs from 0.9090 Swiss francs, and it moved up to 1.0971 Canadian dollars from 1.0926 Canadian dollars.