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US retail sales fell 0.6% in February, falling short of expectations for a rise. Excluding autos it is 0.1% and excluding gas 0.8%. Excluding both, it is -0.2%. These negative numbers are not good. Also revisions aren’t going in the right direction. Jobless claims did provide a positive surprise though: a drop of 36K to 289K.

The US dollar is weaker, extending the correction.

US retail sales carried expectations for a rise of 0.3% in the headline number for February (after -0.8% in January) and 0.6% in core sales (after -0.9% last month). US jobless claims were expected to stand at 306K after hitting 320K last week (before revisions).

The US dollar took a step back and was  correcting towards the publication.

More data

Previous jobless claims data was revised up from 320K to 325K. The moving average is now 302.25K. Continuing claims remain around the previous levels, currently at 2.418 million.

Note that gasoline prices may skew the retail sales numbers. Import prices carried expectations for a rise of 0.2% after a sharp drop of 2.8% in January. The actual result is +0.4%, but it comes on top of a downwards revision to January’s figure to a drop of 3.2%. The y/y figure gives a better  picture: a drop of 9.4%, worse than expected.

Currencies

  • EUR/USD traded around 1.0620, staging a 150 pip recovery  but from very low ground. The pair now resumes the move higher with 1.0680.
  • GBP/USD traded just under 1.50. Cable held its ground quite well. Well, until yesterday. GBP/USD is now around 1.5020.
  • USD/JPY was around 121. The pair slides to the 120 handle with 120.73.
  • USD/CAD  retreated from the double top at 1.28 and was trading much lower at 1.2675. Dollar/CAD is down to 1.2630.
  • AUD/USD was around 0.7685 after Australian employment and Chinese news boosted it. The Aussie shoots above 0.77 and reaches 0.7722.
  • NZD/USD traded around 0.74 after  upbeat comments from the central bank. The pair continues advancing to 0.7425.

Will this stop the Federal Reserve? Probably not.