Aussie Weaker On Disappointing Retail Sales In Quiet Trade
The Aussie fell on worse than expected retail sales on Thursday despite a better-than-expected trade surplus in a quiet market with Fed Chair Janet Yellen refraining from remarks on monetary policy at a community banking conference in St. Louis.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.05% to 93.36.
There are holidays in China, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Australia reported its trade balance for AUgust with a surplus of A$989 billion, wider than the A$875 billion suprlus expected, but retail sales slumped 0.6%, comapred to a 0.3% gain seen on month.
Overnight, the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies despite a duo of reports on the services sector and labor market topping expectations as traders awaited possible remarks from Yellen.
ISM nonmanufacturing data for September showed an uptick to 59.8, beating expectations of 55.7. This represents the highest reading for the service sector index since August 2005 when the index hit 61.3, according to ISM.
The services sector is critical component of the US economy, accounting for roughly 80% of U.S. private-sector gross domestic product (GDP).
On the labor market front, private payrolls grew by 135,000 for the month, a sharp decline from the 228,000 in August, according to a report released Wednesday by ADP and Moody's Analytics. That beat economists’ forecast of 125,000.
There is also growing speculation concerning President Donald Trump’s choice for the next head of the Federal Reserve.
Fed Governor Jerome Powell is favored over former Fed governor Kevin Warsh by U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Politico reported on Wednesday. That pressured both the dollar and yields as Jerome Powell is widely viewed as the less hawkish candidate.
A stronger pound and euro also weighed on the dollar following better-than-expected UK and Eurozone service sector data.