The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Friday afternoon. The buck is up against the Euro and the British pound, but has not fully recovered from its early weakness against the Japanese Yen.
Traders remain focused on trade issues ahead of the long holiday weekend. President Donald Trump warned that he could pull the United States out of the World Trade Organization
Trump claimed he would evacuate the international trading group if it doesn’t treat the U.S. better, making it the latest agreement to be targeted as part of the president’s “America First” trade strategy.
“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump told Bloomberg News in an Oval Office interview on Thursday.
According to Trump, the treaty establishing the trade body was “the single worst trade deal ever made.”
Traders are also in a cautious mood ahead of a deadline for U.S. and Canadian officials to reach a new NAFTA agreement.
Growth in Chicago-area business activity slowed in the month of August, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday. MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer dipped to 63.6 from a revised 65.5 in July, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to fall to 63.0.
The dollar has climbed to around $1.16 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from an early low of $1.1689.
Eurozone inflation moderated in August from a more than five-year high level, flash data from Eurostat revealed Friday. Inflation eased to 2 percent from 2.1 percent in July. The annual rate was expected to remain at 2.1 percent, which was the highest since December 2012.
The Eurozone unemployment rate remained unchanged in July, at the lowest since late 2008, Eurostat said Friday.
The jobless rate stood at 8.2 percent, the same rate as seen in June, and in line with expectations, but down from 9.1 percent in July 2017. This was the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since November 2008.
Germany’s retail sales growth eased more than expected in July, figures from Destatis showed Friday. Retail sales rose 0.8 percent year-on-year in July, slower than the 2.7 percent increase in June. Sales were expected to grow 1.3 percent. Nonetheless, this was the second consecutive increase.
France’s consumer prices grew at a steady pace in August, provisional estimate from Insee showed Friday. Consumer price inflation came in at 2.3 percent, the same rate as registered in July. Inflation was forecast to ease to 2.2 percent. Final data is due on September 13.
The buck slid to an early low of $1.3028 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since bounced back to around $1.2965.
UK house prices decreased at the fastest pace since mid-2012 in August, the Nationwide Building Society said Friday. House prices fell 0.5 percent on a monthly basis in August, in contrast to a 0.7 percent rise in July. This was the first drop in three months and the biggest monthly fall since July 2012.
The greenback dropped to a low of Y110.684 against the Japanese Yen Friday morning, but has since rebounded to around Y110.925.
The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in July, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That exceeded expectations for 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the June reading.
Industrial production in Japan dipped a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in Friday’s preliminary reading. That missed forecasts for a gain of 0.2 percent following the 1.8 percent drop in June.
Japan’s housing starts declined for the second straight month in July, though at a slower-than-expected rate, data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism revealed Friday.
Housing starts dropped 0.7 percent annually in July, well below the 7.1 percent sharp decrease in June. Economists had expected a 4.3 percent fall for the month.
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