Daily Morning Report 15.03.2018

The dollar was pinned near one-week lows against a basket of the other major currencies on Thursday as concerns over trade protectionism and political turmoil in Washington continued to weigh.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was almost unchanged at 89.73 by 04:01 08:01 GMT, not far from Wednesday’s one-week lows of 89.54.

Investors continued to be concerned that growing trade tensions could act as a drag on the global economy after U.S. President Donald Trump sought to impose tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports.

Trade tensions had already mounted after Trump last week announced plans to levy tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminium.

The dollar was also on the back foot after U.S. data on Wednesday showed that retail sales fell for a third consecutive month in February, offsetting a modest increase in producer price inflation last month.

The data underlined expectations that the Federal Reserve is like to stick to a gradual pace of interest rate increases this year. The Fed is expected to hike rates three times this year, with the first hike anticipated at next week’s policy meeting.

The dollar was lower against the safe haven yen, with USDJPY down 0.2% at 106.11 after falling as low as 105.79 overnight.

The euro was also lower against the Japanese currency, with EURJPY down 0.19% at 131.24.

The euro was almost unchanged against the dollar, with EURUSD last at 1.2369.

The single currency ended the previous session lower after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the bank still needs to see more evidence that inflation is moving closer to its target before it would consider the removal of monetary stimulus.

The pound was a touch higher against the dollar, with GBPUSD edging up to 1.3983.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand dollar was lower, with NZDUSD sliding 0.18% after data showing that the country’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the fourth quarter cemented expectations that interest rates will remain on hold for longer.

The Australian dollar was also weaker, with AUDUSD down 0.14% to 0.7868.