Dollar Paring Early Losses As Weekend Approaches
The dollar got off to a weak start against its major rivals Friday, but has since staged a bit of a comeback. After sinking to over a 2-year low against the Euro, the buck has fought its way back to nearly unchanged for the session.
Investors remain in a cautious mood as the weekend approaches. Tensions between North Korea and the United States has kept investors on edge. North Korea is celebrating a holiday on Saturday, which could be a key date for another intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
Traders also continue to monitor Hurricane Irma. It has been downgraded to a category 4 storm, but is expected to cause widespread damage when it makes landfall in Florida early Sunday.
Wholesale inventories in the U.S. rose by more than anticipated in the month of July, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories climbed by 0.6 percent in July, matching the downwardly revised increase in June.
Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.7 percent increase originally reported for the previous month. The dollar slid to over a 2-year low of $1.2092 against the Euro Friday morning, but has since rebounded to around $1.2030.
German exports recovered in July but the pace of growth was weaker than forecast, data from Destatis showed Friday.
Exports grew 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, reversing a 2.7 percent fall in June. Shipments were forecast to climb 1.3 percent.
At the same time, imports advanced 2.2 percent, in contrast to a 4.4 percent decline in June. Nonetheless, the rate was slower than the expected 2.8 percent.
As a result, the trade surplus decreased to around adjusted EUR 19.6 billion from EUR 21.2 billion a month ago.
Germany's labor cost growth increased slightly in the second quarter after slowing in the first quarter, Destatis reported Friday. The index of labor cost gained 2.3 percent year-on-year, following a 2.2 percent rise in the first quarter.
France's industrial production increased as expected in July after falling in the previous month, the statistical office Insee reported Friday. Industrial output rose 0.5 percent month-over-month in July, reversing a 1.1 percent drop in June. The figure also matched consensus estimate.
The buck dropped to a 1-month low of $1.3224 against the pound sterling Friday morning, but has since bounced back to around $1.32.
UK industrial production grew at a slower pace in July due to weak oil and gas extraction, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. Industrial production grew 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, slower than the 0.5 percent increase seen in June. The monthly rate came in line with expectations.
The UK visible trade deficit widened in three months to July primarily due to an increase in the imports of finished manufactured goods, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. The visible trade deficit increased by GBP 1.1 billion to GBP 34.4 billion in three months ended July.
The greenback tumbled to nearly a 10-month low of Y107.299 against the Japanese Yen Friday morning, but has since recovered to around Y107.810.
Japan's gross domestic product was knocked down to 0.6 percent on quarter in the second quarter of 2017, the Cabinet Office said in Friday's revised reading. That missed forecasts for 0.7 percent and was down from the August 13 preliminary reading that suggested a gain of 1.0 percent. GDP was up 0.4 percent on quarter in the previous three months.
Overall bank lending in Japan was up 3.2 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Friday – coming in at 515.802 trillion yen. That was shy of expectations for 3.3 percent, which would have been unchanged from the July reading.
Japan had a current account surplus of 2,320.0 billion yen in July, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday – up 19.6 percent on year. The headline figure topped expectations for a surplus of 2,030.1 billion yen and was up from the 934.6 billion yen surplus in June.
A measure of peoples' assessment of the Japanese economy held steady in August, after falling in the prior month, survey figures from the Cabinet Office showed Friday. The current index of Economy Watchers' survey came in at 49.7 in August, the same reading as in July. Economists had expected the index to fall to 49.5.