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Dollar Struggles Amid Soft U.S. Retail Sales

10/16/2018, 11:58:01 AMMarket Analysis
Dollar Struggles Amid Soft U.S. Retail Sales

The dollar was on the back foot Monday as soft U.S. retail sales data raised concerns over whether the strong pace of economic growth can continue.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.23% to 94.72.

The Commerce Department said on Monday that core retail sales fell 0.1% last month. That confounded economists’ forecast for a 0.4% rise. The retail sales control group, which has a larger impact on U.S. GDP, rose 0.5% beating expectations for a 0.3% rise.

"These data mean that third quarter consumers’ spending likely rose by 3.6%-to-3.8%, after a 3.8% leap in the second quarter. This uplift from the prior trend, about 2%-to-2.5%, likely is due to the tax cuts, so it won’t be sustained," Pantheon said. "We expect sub-3% consumption in fourth quarter."

A rebound in both the pound and euro from session also pressured the greenback even as investors digested negative news on stalled Brexit talks and ongoing friction between the EU and Italy.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament Monday that while talks with the European Union had resulted in progress, the status of the Irish border has remained a critical stumbling block.

Profit-taking on dollar-denominated assets explains "why despite failing Brexit talks, persistent disagreements between EU and Italy and falling equity prices, the buck can't find a bid," said BK Asset management.

GBP/USD edged up 0.08% to $1.3166, while EUR/USD rose 0.27% to $1.1590.

USD/CAD fell 0.47% to C$1.2964 after the release of an upbeat Bank of Canada outlook survey.

USD/JPY fell 0.33% to Y111.83 as demand for safe-haven demand was propped up by mixed trading on Wall Street.

In emerging-market currencies, meanwhile, the Turkish lira rose against the dollar, hitting a two-month high, after Turkey on Friday released U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.

USD/TRY fell 1.44% 5.778.