The U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales declined by 0.1% in February, above expectations for a 0.2% fall. Likewise, core retail sales, excluding automobile sales, also fell by 0.1% last month, against anticipations for a 0.2% decline.
Another report released earlier in the day, revealed that the U.S. producer price index dropped 0.2% in February, in accordance with expectations. On a year over year basis, producer prices remained unchanged, compared to forecasts for a rise of 0.1%. Similarly, core PPI, excluding food and energy, was also unchanged last month, missing expectations for a 0.1% rise.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York stated that its general business conditions index rose by 0.6 in March compared to a reading of -16.6 last month. The median estimate called for the business conditions index to inch up to -10.0 this month.
Elsewhere, the Japanese yen found support, following the Bank of Japan’s decision to not make any changes to its monetary policy in a widely anticipated move, as it estimated that the impact of its January decision would deploy negative interest rates.
The BoJ maintained its ¥80 trillion base money target and a 0.1% negative interest rate it applies to some reserves. But the bank also flagged weakness in exports and output due to slowing growth in emerging economies, indicating that more stimulus may be needed in the future.
The Japanese central bank announced that it was going to maintain its ¥80 trillion base money target and apply a 0.1% negative interest rate to some reserves. But the BoJ stressed weakness in exports and output due to a decline in emerging economies, signaling that more stimulus measures may be deemed necessary. In the wake of the bank’s decision, USD/JPY fell 1.01% to 122.68.
The EUR/USD pair retreated 0.09% at 1.1114, after sliding to 1.1072 earlier in the day. The greenback inched up against the sterling, with GBP/USD losing 0.88% at 1.4175, while falling against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF dropping 0.10% to 0.9863.
In the meantime, the Australian and New Zealand dollars fell, with AUD/USD losing 0.81% to 0.7454 and NZD/USD easing 0.48% to 0.6644.
The Reserve Bank of Australia in its March minutes released earlier indicated that low inflation doesn’t allow the bank to exclude further rate cuts, but the employ of negative interest rates by other central banks in the world is causing uncertainty. Policy makers also discussed about China’s economic growth and risks, as Australia’s biggest trading partner.
The U.S. dollar advanced 0.83% against its Canadian counterpart to 1.3369. The Canadian dollar was under pressure as oil priced retreated from three-month highs on Monday after Iran’s Oil Minister commented that his country will not endorse a production freeze until it doubles its post-sanctions output.
The U.S. dollar remained unchanged at 96.56 lower than 96.91 highs reached earlier in the say.