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US dollar slips after weaker-than-expected US inflation, sales data

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 06:27

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The US dollar fell on Friday, easing from a roughly two-month high against the yen touched in the prior session and slumping against the euro, after weaker-than-expected US economic data raised doubts about whether the Federal Reserve would assume a hawkish bent through the end of the year.

[NEW YORK] The US dollar fell on Friday, easing from a roughly two-month high against the yen touched in the prior session and slumping against the euro, after weaker-than-expected US economic data raised doubts about whether the Federal Reserve would assume a hawkish bent through the end of the year.

The US core consumer price index (CPI) increased 1.9 per cent year-on-year in April, the smallest gain since October 2015. Economists polled by Reuters expected the inflation measure to remain at 2 per cent.

In addition, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.4 per cent last month. While March saw an upwardly revised 0.1 per cent gain, the April figure disappointed expectations of economists polled by Reuters for an increase of 0.6 per cent.

Federal funds futures implied traders saw about a 49 per cent chance the Fed would increase rates twice by the end of 2017 shortly after the data, compared with 54 per cent just before the release of the latest readings on US store sales and the consumer price index, CME Group's FedWatch programme showed.

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Market voices on:

"It's building on a theme of the last several months which is the actual inflation prints on the core are very non-threatening," said Richard Franulovich, senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in New York, in reference to the core CPI reading.

"The Fed is still going to be hiking probably two more times this year, but the urgency to act and deliver a hawkish thrust to their actions is not there."

The euro rose as much as 0.7 per cent against the US dollar to a session high of US$1.0934. The euro had fallen to a more than two-week low on Thursday of US$1.0838.

The US dollar fell as much as 0.6 per cent against the yen to a session low of 113.21 yen after hitting a roughly two-month high of 114.36 yen on Thursday.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last down 0.4 per cent at 99.274 . It was still on track to gain about 0.6 per cent for the week to notch its first gain in five weeks.

Friday's inflation data hurt the US dollar partly because it was disappointing after strong US April import and producer price readings released earlier this week, said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

"The CPI data didn't confirm what those other two data sets said about inflation," he said.

REUTERS

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