Daily Afternoon Report 13/08/2015
The dollar extended gains against the other major currencies today after data showed that U.S. jobless claims rose more than expected last week, but held near the lowest level since November 1973, while U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in July. The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 8 rose by 5,000 to 274,000 from the previous week’s total of 269,000. Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise by 1,000 to 270,000 last week. Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales increased by 0.6% last month, beating expectations for a gain of 0.5%. Retail sales fell by 0.3% in June. Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, rose by 0.4% in July, matching forecasts.
Meanwhile, the Yuan weakened slightly today, but the rate of the decline slowed after China’s central bank said there was no basis for further depreciation in the currency, given China’s strong economic fundamentals. The Yuan has fallen almost 5% against the dollar this week after China devalued its currency in a surprise move on Tuesday in a bid to shore up growth in the flagging economy.
Elsewhere, data today showed that Japan’s core machinery orders dropped 7.9% in June, compared to expectations for a decline of 5.6%, after a 0.6% rise the previous month.
In Switzerland, data showed that producer prices fell by 0.3% in July, confounding expectations for a 0.2% downtick, after a 0.1% slip in June.
The Melbourne Institute earlier reported that its inflation expectations for the next 12 months in Australia ticked up to 3.7% in July from 3.4% the previous month.