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The U.S. dollar outperformed its peers during the New York session thanks to upbeat headline and core retail sales data, as well as easing concerns about North Korea.

  • U.S. headline retail sales up by 0.6% vs. 0.3% forecast in July
  • U.S. core retail sales rose by 0.5% vs. 0.3% forecast
  • U.S. June headline retail sales upgraded from -0.2% to +0.3%
  • U.S. June core retail sales revised from -0.2% to +0.1%
  • Empire State manufacturing index rose from 9.8 to 25.2 vs. 10.1 consensus
  • U.S. import prices increased by 0.1% as expected
  • New Zealand GDT auction yielded 0.4% drop in dairy prices

Major Events/Reports

Upbeat U.S. data

All green for Uncle Sam! The latest batch of reports came in mostly stronger than expected, reviving speculations of a Fed interest rate hike next month.

July headline retail sales rose 0.6%, twice as much as the projected 0.3% gain, while the core figure picked up by 0.5% versus the 0.3% consensus. Underlying data revealed that the gains were broad-based across various components such as department store sales to purchases of building materials. The July figures also amount to the fastest pace of consumer spending so far this year.

To top it off, the previous month’s report enjoyed upgrades for the headline figure from a 0.2% decline to a 0.3% increase and the core reading from a 0.2% drop to a 0.1% uptick.

Meanwhile, the Empire State manufacturing index also had impressive results as it jumped from 9.8 to 25.2 in July, outpacing the consensus at 10.1 to reflect a stronger pace of industry expansion. Import prices posted a 0.1% uptick as expected, chalking up a bit of a rebound from the earlier 0.2% slide.

Commodities still in the red

Commodities had a bad run in the previous trading session and continued this downbeat performance throughout the U.S. session.

Downbeat data from China at the start of the week, along with NAFTA renegotiations appear to be dampening spirits in this market.

  • WTI crude oil edged 0.08% down to $47.55 per barrel
  • Gold is down to $1272.25 per troy ounce

New Zealand held its Global Dairy Trade auction before U.S. traders called it a day, reporting a 0.4% drop in dairy prices. This comes after a larger 1.6% drop in the earlier auction.

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

The scrilla popped higher upon seeing stronger than expected economic data but had a tough time sustaining its climb.

EUR/USD tumbled to a low of 1.1687 before recovering to 1.1743, GBP/USD is testing support at the 1.2850 mark, USD/JPY advanced to a high of 110.85 then fell to 110.56, and USD/CHF is up to .9719.

Watch Out For:

  • 1:30 am GMT: Australia MI leading index (-0.1% previous)
  • 2:30 am GMT: Australia wage price index q/q (no change from 0.5% expected)