U.S. consumer sentiment holds steady in early July

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers stand in line wearing face masks outside the Louis Vuitton store during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment was largely steady in the first half of August, despite a continued rise in new COVID-19 cases and the expiration of a $600 weekly unemployment benefit supplement.

The University of Michigan said on Friday its consumer sentiment index edged up to a reading of 72.8 from 72.5 in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the sentiment index dipping to a reading of 72 early this month. The unemployment benefit supplement ended on July 31.

Reporting By Lucia Mutikani