Dollar steady following overnight gains on US retail sales boost

15 Sep 2023

The US Dollar was steady on Friday during Asia trading, marginally easing from overnight gains against rivals.

The greenback rose overnight following news US retail sales were bolstered by elevated gasoline prices, up 0.6% in August compared to forecasts of a 0.2% increase, whilst the market reacted to the 25-basis point rate hike by the European Central Bank (ECB).

At the time of writing, the Dollar index – measuring the currency against six peers – was lower at 105.25 but remained close to Thursday's six-month high of 105.43, Reuters news agency reports.

Elsewhere, the Chinese Yuan and Australian and New Zealand Dollars were boosted by a series of better-than-forecast economic data from China, bolstering sentiment.

The offshore Yuan increased over 0.3% against the Dollar to 7.262 following the release of the data.

The Yuan had declined on Thursday an announcement by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) that it would make its second 25-basis point cut to banks' reserve requirement ratio this year, the Reuters report adds.

The PBOC has provided "piecemeal" stimulus, yet the economy is still suffering from waning consumer confidence, according to National Bank of Australia senior FX strategist Rodrigo Catril.

"We think it's a little bit too early to see, if you like, the green shoots coming from all the stimulus that's been introduced."

The Australian Dollar, viewed as a proxy for China's growth, rose 0.5% to $0.6473, whilst the New Zealand Dollar was trading 0.3% up at $0.5931.

Furthermore, the Euro rose 0.1% at $1.0652, just short of a six-month low of $1.0632 against the greenback as the European Central Bank increased rates by a further 25 basis points on Thursday.

"It appears that markets have characterised the ECB's 25bp hike yesterday as a dovish hike ... that has sent EUR and European yields tumbling," said Mizuho Bank analysts.

Whereas the Pound edged up more than 0.1% to $1.2429, just above a three-month dip.