* Dollar index steady
* Traders shrug off soft U.S. consumer spending data
* Russia's rouble at all-time low vs dollar
(Adds New York open, latest prices, quotes; changes byline and
dateline; previous LONDON)
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, Aug 29 The dollar changed little on
Friday, with traders shrugging off data signaling soft U.S.
consumer spending, while the steadily sliding euro won a
reprieve on diminished expectations that the European Central
Bank would ease monetary policy as early as next week.
Russia's rouble hit an all-time low against the
dollar as worries grew that the Ukraine crisis may bring more
Western economic sanctions.
After repeatedly setting 2014 peaks this week, the dollar
index traded tightly on Friday and was up 0.05 percent
at 82.521 after turning down briefly when U.S. government data
showed Americans' personal spending shrunk 0.1 percent in July.
The report, which economists had expected to show a rise of
0.2 percent, prompted expectations that U.S. gross domestic
product may grow less during the current third quarter than now
"The disappointing spending print left the three-month
annualized pace of real spending activity softer at 1.3 percent
from 2.5 percent last month, suggesting that market forecasts
for Q3 GDP are likely to be nudged lower despite a solid handoff
from the 4.2 percent growth rate in Q2," said Gennadiy Goldberg,
U.S. strategist at TD Securities in New York.
But traders still see promise in the U.S. economy despite
the disappointing data about spending that accounts for 70
percent of American GDP, according to Boris Schlossberg,
managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.
"The market does not think it is a straw that breaks the
camel's back," Schlossberg said. "The U.S. economy remains the
most robust among the G7 (countries) ... The market thinks the
consumer will catch up."
The dollar was up 0.25 percent against the Japanese yen
, which has risen this week on safe-haven buying triggered
by the Ukraine crisis. The dollar last traded at 103.98 yen.
The euro was last trading off a touch at $1.3178,
having risen to a day high of $1.3195 soon after a report on
euro zone inflation, and above the one-year low of 1.31525 hit
Nevertheless, it was on track for a second straight month of
losses as euro zone annual inflation has fallen to a five-year
low of 0.3 percent - well below the ECB's danger zone of 1.0
percent. This is likely to keep alive expectations of more
dovish comments from ECB chief Mario Draghi when he speaks after
a policy rate decision on Sept. 4.
The single currency has lost 1.6 percent in the past two
weeks, partly due to the conflict in Ukraine, which is likely to
weigh on growth in the euro zone.
In New York, the rouble dropped to 37.03 against the dollar
before recovering slightly to trade at 36.98, leaving it still
down 0.7 percent on the day.
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)