FOREX-Dollar weak after U.S. data fails to boost rate outlook

Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:32pm EDT

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* U.S. consumer sentiment beats expectations

* Dollar falls against yen on Japan retail sales

By Sam Forgione

NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar slipped on Friday against a basket of major currencies to post a second week of losses after positive data on consumer sentiment failed to boost expectations for a rise in interest rates any time soon.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final June reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 82.5, up from 81.9 the month before and above the median forecast of 82.0 among economists polled by Reuters.

Analysts said the upbeat consumer sentiment data left traders cold since it failed to dispel worries about the U.S. economy after data on Thursday showed slightly weaker-than-expected data on consumer spending in May.

"The data is not shaking anybody's expectations in terms of the pace of tightening from the Fed," said Sebastien Galy, currency strategist at Societe Generale in New York, in reference to the Federal Reserve's timeline for raising interest rates from rock-bottom levels.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.25 percent at 80.022. The euro was last up 0.26 percent against the dollar at $1.3648.

The dollar was last down 0.27 percent against the yen at 101.44 yen. The dollar was down 0.3 percent against the Swiss franc to trade at 0.89095 franc. The New Zealand dollar extended gains on traders' appetite for higher-yielding currencies and was last up 0.16 percent against the dollar to trade at $0.8775.

Analysts said the yen gained following better-than-expected Japanese retail sales data, which diminished concerns of further monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan.

The government data showed Japanese retail sales fell 0.4 percent in May from a year earlier, which was better than economists' median estimate for a 1.8 percent drop in a Reuters poll. The data came after the government raised the national sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent on April 1.

"Indications are that maybe the economy is weathering this consumption tax pretty well so far," said Win Thin, head of emerging markets currency strategy with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

Traders looked ahead to the U.S. government's non-farm payrolls report for June, due for release on July 3. The government is expected to have added 210,000 jobs in June, down slightly from the prior month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

The dollar continued to slide despite a slight increase in benchmark U.S. government bond yields. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes were last down 3/32 in price to yield 2.53 percent. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by James Dalgleish and Chris Reese)

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