Daily Afternoon Report 13.10.2017

The U.S. dollar fell to a more than two-week low against other major counterparts on Friday, after the release of downbeat U.S. data dampened optimism over the strength of the economy and fueled uncertainty over a potential U.S. rate hike before the end of the year.

The greenback was hit after the U.S. Commerce Department said consumer prices rose less than expected in September, both on a monthly and annual basis.

A separate report showed that U.S. retail sales also increased less than analysts had anticipated last month. However, the core reading exceeded market expectations.

The reports came after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s September policy meeting this week showed that policymakers remain divided on inflation.

Some fear that a lower than expected increase in U.S. inflation could prevent the Fed from raising interest rates in December.

The pound was boosted by reports by German newspaper Handelsblatt on Thursday that the U.K. could stay in the European Union for another two years.

The newspaper indicated that the EU’s offer is tied to the U.K. meeting all of its obligations as a member country, but giving up its voting rights.

Sterling had initially dropped after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier announced on Thursday that Brexit talks were at an “impasse.”

Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated in a speech on Thursday that the ECB’s asset purchases would continue until officials see a sustained improvement in the outlook for inflation.

Draghi added that interest rates would remain at current levels “well past” the time the central bank stops buying assets.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars pushed higher, after data earlier showed that China’s imports increased by 18.7% last month, beating expectations, while exports rose less than expected by 8.1%.

China is Australia’s biggest export partner and New Zealand’s second biggest export partner.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.38% at 92.60, its lowest since September 26.