The U.S. dollar showed little reaction to a highly anticipated retail sales report for January on Monday, hovering just in the green.
U.S. retail sales rose by 0.2% in January, while the December reading of -1.2% was revised to -1.6%. January figures excluding cars and excluding cars and gas, rose 0.9% and 1.2%, respectively.
In December, the same retail sales report undercut expectations and registered its worst drop in nine years, spooking investors worrying about the health of the U.S. economy, though subsequent retail data were not as weak as the headline number suggested.
Business inventories for December will be due at 10 a.m., and consumer expectations for February at 11 a.m.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
was little changed in positive territory at 97.311. Last week, the popular gauge, which measures the greenback against six rivals, climbed 0.8%.
Late Sunday, Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell said on 60 Minutes that the U.S. economy was overall in a good place and that interest rates were fine where they are, reiterating his previous wait-and-see stance on further rate hikes.
On the note of trade, the People’s Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang affirmed on Sunday that China would avoid manipulating its currency to boost exports, and said the issue was discussed during the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Last month, the U.S. demanded that China’s yuan be stabilized as part of a trade deal. Yi said in his comments that “our exchange rates is relatively stable. But at the same time, that stability does not mean the exchange rate is fixed.”
The yuan was little changed versus the dollar on Monday, with the buck buying 6.7248 yuan
in Beijing and 6.7321 yuan
in the offshore market.
Traders of the British pound
are gearing up for yet another Brexit-filled week. The presumably final vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal is due to take place in the British Parliament on Tuesday, amid some reports that the premier could delay the vote. May is expected to issue a statement later Monday, according to local reports.
According to FX strategists at Nomura, “we will likely witness 1) a second meaningful vote, 2) a parliament likely to vote against a no-deal Brexit, and a vote on 3) an Article 50 extension.” Article 50 is the portion of the Treaty of the European Union dealing with withdrawal from the bloc.
The U.K. is set to leave the European Union in 18 days, on March 29, and so far no deal governing London’s future relationship with the European continent is in place.
Sterling recovered from some earlier weakness and last bought $1.3047, compared with $1.3014 late Friday.
Elsewhere in Europe, the euro
climbed slightly to $1.1237, versus $1.1236 Friday. The eurozone’s biggest economy, Germany, reported stronger-than-expected trade numbers for January, but its industrials production for the same month came in below forecasts.
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