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US retail sales advanced by 0.3%, in February, as expected, after falling 0.6% in January (revised down from -0.4%). Core retail sales rose by 0.3%. They were predicted to advance by 0.2% after falling 0.2% beforehand (revised down from flat).  US jobless claims surprised by dropping to 315K. They carried expectations of a rise back to the previous range of above 330K to 334K. They surprised by falling down to 324K last week (revised from 323K). Import prices rose by 0.9%, stronger than 0.9% expected and 0.4% last month (revised up from 0.4%).

The US dollar was on the defensive towards the publication, with EUR/USD trading around 1.3950, GBP/USD above 1.67 and USD/JPY around 102.50.  The US dollar is stronger after the better than expected numbers with EUR/USD sliding to 1.3940, GBP/USD losing 1.67 and USD/JPY rising to 102.70.

Commodity currencies were marching higher as well, with AUD/USD around 0.9050 after excellent employment numbers, NZD/USD at 0.8570 after a hawkish rate hike and USD/CAD at 1,1077, catching a ride with the others. The USD dollar is marginally stronger against all of them.

It seems that markets ignore the downwards revisions to retail sales and focus on the better than expected jobless claims numbers. Also the strong rise in import prices curbs fears about weak inflation.

Today we still have the release of US business inventories and the federal budget balance as well as the nomination hearings of two FOMC candidates. A bigger release occurs tomorrow: the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer confidence report.

See how to trade the consumer confidence release with EUR/USD.