The US dollar returned most of its recent wins when the US retail sales figures fell short of expectations. The headline figure showed a 0.3% decline while the core version of the report showed a 0.1% dip when analysts were expecting to see a 0.2% increase and a 0.7% gain respectively. Apart from that, the previous month’s readings were downgraded to show a 0.8% increase in core retail sales and a 1.0% rise in headline retail sales from the previous 1.0% and 1.2% readings. Import prices were also weaker than expected with a 0.1% decline versus the projected 0.1% uptick. For today, industrial production and PPI data are up for release, along with the Empire State manufacturing index. Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen’s speech might also spur additional volatility among dollar pairs in the US session.
The euro regained a bit of ground to the dollar but was still weaker against most of its other forex counterparts, as the Greek bailout proposal seems to be encountering trouble in parliament. In addition, potential political trouble could also make it more difficult for the to achieve its debt targets, which might put it back in a default position once the funds run out. Data from the euro zone was weaker than expected, with the German ZEW index falling from 31.5 to 29.7 and the euro zone ZEW dropping from 53.7 to 42.7, mostly due to the Greek debt issue. The Greek parliament should pass legislation to enact reforms required in the bailout deal within the day but further conflict could keep euro pairs weak.
The pound enjoyed a strong boost from hawkish BOE Inflation Report hearings, as Governor Carney said that they are moving closer to hiking interest rates. This is a much more upbeat outlook compared to their previous assessment that the next move is likely to be a rate hike, although they didn’t confirm when this might take place. CPI figures were weaker than expected though, as the headline reading fell from 0.1% to 0.0% while the core figure dipped from 0.9% to 0.8%. PPI was also weaker than expected, as it recorded a sharper drop in input prices due to the fall in crude oil and petroleum products. The jobs figures are due today and a 8.9K decline in claimant count is eyed, along with an increase from 2.7% to 3.3% in average earnings.
The franc was in a weak spot after the Swiss PPI fell short of expectations and logged in a 0.1% dip instead of the projected 0.2% rebound. Only the ZEW economic expectations index is up for release today and an improvement from the previous 0.1 reading might be enough to keep the currency afloat.
The yen gave up ground against most of its forex counterparts when risk appetite stayed in the markets. There have been no reports released from Japan then while today had the BOJ statement on tap. No actual policy changes have been announced.
Commodity Currencies (AUD, NZD, CAD)
The comdolls regained a bit of ground in recent trading, although oil prices have been on the decline after the Iran nuclear deal was passed. The country has pledged to double its oil production, which might mean more declines in prices later on. Today, the BOC will make its monetary policy statement and some analysts are expecting an interest rate cut. Later on, New Zealand will have its dairy trade auction while the quarterly CPI will be released.
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