The US dollar gave up a lot of ground to its forex counterparts in recent trading sessions, spurred mostly by disappointing retail sales data. The headline figure indicated a mere 0.1% uptick instead of the 0.2% rise while the core figure showed a 0.3% drop. Producer prices were also weaker than expected, suggesting weaker consumer price pressures down the line and a potentially disappointing CPI release, which might be enough to cast Fed rate hike hopes out the window. CPI reports and manufacturing indices from New York and Philadelphia are lined up today.
The euro took advantage of dollar weakness but gave up ground to most of its other currency counterparts. Industrial production data was weaker than expected, as the region printed a 0.5% decline instead of the 0.4% drop. There are no reports due from the euro zone today.
The pound reacted positively to the UK jobs release, even though the claimant count change figure showed a 4.6K increase in joblessness versus the projected 2.3K decline. The jobless rate improved from 5.5% to 5.4% while the average earnings index rose from 2.9% to 3.0%, just short of the 3.1% consensus. No reports are due from the UK today.
The franc took its cue from the euro and retreated against most of its forex peers, except for the US dollar. Data from Switzerland was actually better than expected, as the ZEW economic expectations index rose from 9.7 to 18.3. There are no reports due from Switzerland today.
The yen continued to advance against most of its peers, most notably the US dollar. There were no major reports out of Japan but traders seemed to move their safe-haven holdings to the yen instead of the dollar. Earlier today, Japan reported a downgrade in its industrial production report to show a 1.2% decline from the initially reported 0.5% downtick. The tertiary industry index recorded a 0.1% uptick instead of the projected flat reading.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls were able to take advantage of dollar weakness, despite mostly weaker than expected data. In Australia, the employment report showed a 5.1K drop in employment, its first monthly decline since April. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.2% but this was partly spurred by a drop in the participation rate. US crude oil inventories and New Zealand’s quarterly CPI data are up for release next.
By Kate Curtis from Trader’s Way