Daily Morning Report 16.08.2017

The dollar was holding steady against a basket of the other major currencies on Wednesday, after surging in the previous session as better than expected retail sales data bolstered confidence in the U.S. economy.

Retail sales rose 0.6% last month the Commerce Department reported, above forecasts for a gain of 0.4%. It was the strongest growth so far this year.

The retail sales report followed a string of sluggish inflation readings which have raised doubts over whether the Federal Reserve will be able to stick to plans for a third interest rate hike this year.

The minutes of the Fed’s July meeting were set to be published later in the trading day and investors were watching for clues on the timing of the next rate hike and how soon the Fed is likely to announce plans for a balance sheet reduction.

The euro was steady against the dollar, with EURUSD at 1.1739 after falling as low as 1.1686 on Tuesday.

The euro zone was to release data on second quarter growth later Wednesday that were expected to confirm that the economy expanded by 0.6%.

The dollar was higher against the yen as market turmoil caused by heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea continued to ease.

USDJPY was last up 0.18% to 110.84, well above Friday’s four-month low of 108.72.

The dollar was steady against the traditional safe haven Swiss franc, with USDCHF at 0.9728, holding below Tuesday’s one-week high of 0.9757.

Elsewhere, sterling was little changed against the dollar, with GBPUSD at 1.2871 ahead of the latest UK employment and wages data.