Dollar slips after weak U.S. retail sales and jobs data
San Francisco (June 12) The dollar slipped for a second straight session against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after U.S. retail sales and weekly jobless claims data showed weakness in the economy and curbed speculation of a hawkish stance from the Federal Reserve.
The Commerce Department said retail sales gained 0.3 percent last month, missing expectations for a 0.6 percent rise. April's retail sales, however, were revised to show a 0.5 percent increase. The dollar's losses were modest given the reassuring revision.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 for the week ended June 7. That marked a bigger increase than the expected rise of 310,000, according to a Reuters poll.
~~The dollar fell against the euro for the first time in five trading sessions after the release of the data, although the euro remained near a four-month low of $1.3503 hit last week after the European Central Bank cut rates to record lows.
The dollar also fell against the yen, which has advanced in recent sessions after strong economic data has reduced expectations for further Bank of Japan monetary easing. The Bank of Japan's latest two-day policy meeting starts Thursday.
The New Zealand dollar also rallied after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hiked base rates by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent, drawing demand for the higher-yielding currency.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.1 percent at 80.707. The euro was last up 0.08 percent against the dollar above $1.35.
The dollar was last down about 0.1 percent against the Japanese yen under 102, and was last down roughly 0.1 percent against the Swiss franc to trade below 0.9 francs. The New Zealand dollar last traded at a near one-month high near $0.90.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were last up 2/32 in price to yield 2.633 percent.