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    Asian Session – Aussie and yen shrug off weak data to gain against dollar

    Weak retail sales data continued to weigh on the dollar on Thursday as investors remain doubtful whether the Fed would raise interest rates by the end of the year. However, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker appeared unconvinced by the recent disappointing data. Lacker said on Wednesday that the weak data does little to change his outlook for the US economy.

    The dollar fell to 118.71 yen in late Asian trading, having risen to 119.16 yen earlier in the session. The yen was little impacted by poor Japanese industrial production data. The final industrial production figures for August showed output contracting by 1.2% month-on-month versus a 0.5% drop in the preliminary estimate.

    Australian unemployment data also disappointed after employment fell by 5,100 in September against estimates of an increase of 7,100. But the Australian dollar shrugged off the data as the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.2%. The aussie climbed to 0.7334 in late Asian session, while its New Zealand counterpart was up at 0.6845 against the greenback.

    The euro climbed to a 7-week high against the dollar today, rising for a sixth-day to 1.1494 dollars. But the single currency was lower against the yen and the pound, falling to 136.38 yen and 0.7416 pounds in late Asian session. The pound edged up to 1.5496 against the greenback, having rallied 1.5% on Wednesday.

    Crude oil prices steadied on Thursday but concerns about oversupply continue to linger. WTI oil futures were 0.5% lower at $46.39, while Brent crude was slightly higher at $49.27.

    Gold prices broke above 1180 to peak at a near 4-month high of $1189.68 on Wednesday, having posted an impressive rally over the past week. It eased slightly today to trade around $1183.

    Looking ahead to the rest of the day, there is no major data out of the Eurozone but US inflation figures for September will come into focus in US trading. Also to watch out for are the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing index and the Empire State Manufacturing survey.

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