Dollar Stays at 4-month High; Aussie Down on Bullish Retail Sales Data
The dollar gained against the other major currencies in Asia on Tuesday morning and reached this year’s high overnight. The Aussie was sent lower by the worse-than-expected retail sales data, and it reacted little to China trade data that came in broadly positive.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies rose 0.05% to 92.66 at 11:55PM ET (03:55 GMT). The greenback climbed to its highest level this year at 92.82 overnight.
Events to look out this week for the greenback’s movement include U.S. President Trump’s decision on whether to withdraw from the Iran deal later in the day. U.S. withdrawal would mean unclear geopolitical developments in the Middle East that can weigh down the dollar. The U.S. is also due to release its PPI and CPI data on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The USD/JPY pair eased 0.06% to 109.02. Japan released its March household spending data that came in worse than expected, reading -0.7% compared to the estimated 1.2%.
In China, the People's Bank of China set the set the reference rate for the yuan against the dollar, the mid-point from which the currency is allowed to trade, at 6.3674 versus the previous day's 6.3584. The USD/CNY pair eased 0.02% to trade at 6.3656.
China’s April exports denominated in yuan rose 3.7% from a year earlier, compared with a decline of 9.8% in March.
Yuan-denominated imports rose 11.6% last month, compared to a 5.9% gain in March, resulting in a trade surplus of $28.72 billion for the period.
The AUD/USD pair lost 0.29% at 0.7493. Australian Retail Sales numbers missed expectations, showing 0.0% growth on the year-on-year period for March, missing the 0.3% expected contraction and a complete collapse from the previous reading of 0.6%. As Australia’s largest trading partner, China’s trade data could be a directional driver for the Aussie. Though China trade data came in broadly positive on Tuesday, the Aussie extended its losses.