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Confidence boost

USD: At first glance the dollar's positive reaction to a feeble 0.1% August increase in US retail sales seems unwarranted. Investors had, after all, been expecting something more like 0.4%. However, the July figure was upwardly revised and, compared with the same month last year, sales were up by an entirely respectable 6.6%. Add to that the Michigan survey of consumer sentiment, which at 100.8 was just 0.6 short of a 14-year high, and it becomes clearer why the USD was marked up. It strengthened by an average of 0.5%, adding a third of a cent against the GBP and two thirds against the EUR.

EUR: Friday was something of a "non" day for the EUR, which was on average unchanged against the other majors. Economic statistics were few and there was complete silence from the central bankers and legislators.  The only ecostat that might have made a difference was the July balance of trade for the euro zone as a whole. At €17.6 billion the surplus was lower on the month and smaller than forecast but the differences were too small to attract investors' attention.

CAD: Canada's dollar was unchanged on the day against the CHF, GBP and NOK. It strengthened by an average of 0.2% against the other ten most actively-traded currencies and lost a quarter of a cent to Friday's top dog, the USD. Predictably, no progress was made on the NAFTA negotiations, which face yet another "final chance" deadline this week. Mexican presidential spokesperson Euardo Sanchez summed up the situation best when he told reporters to expect an agreement by December.

GBP: There was nothing of any consequence to help or hinder GBP and it wandered through the day looking for something to do. During most of the New York session it drifted lower and in the Far East this morning it drifted upwards without managing to make back Friday's modest losses.  Overall it lost a third of a US cent and nobody really noticed. Relative to last Monday's levels, however, GBP is the strongest among the majors, with a 0.6% average gain.

JPY: The JPY did lose ground to the USD, but only to the tune of a meaningless one seventh of a yen - 0.13%. Any domestic economic data were well out of the way by the time New York opened and the minds of traders in Tokyo were doubtless focused on the long weekend that today's Respect for the Aged holiday provides. Tuesday's agenda is similarly bereft of Japanese economic data so the JPY's fortunes could depend on what the White House does or does not say about further Chinese trade sanctions.

 

USD leads after retail sales and confidence boost

USD leads after retail sales and confidence boost

EUR keeps its head down

EUR keeps its head down

CAD not far behind despite lack of NAFTA Progress

CAD not far behind despite lack of NAFTA Progress

GBP level with CAD in economic data vacuum

GBP level with CAD in economic data vacuum

JPY on holiday today, waiting for Trump

JPY on holiday today, waiting for Trump

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