Dollar higher vs. yen, euro after U.S. retail data

Shutterstock photo - The dollar hit session highs against the euro and the yen on Wednesday, as stronger-than-forecast U.S. retail sales figures for February fuelled optimism over the strengthening U.S. economic recovery.

During U.S. morning trade, the dollar hit session highs against the euro, with EUR/USD dropping 0.73% to 1.2937.

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 1.1% in February, beating expectations for a 0.5% increase.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, rose more-than-expected, climbing 1.0% compared to expectations for a 0.2% gain.

The euro remained under pressure after Italy saw the yield on three-year bonds rise to the highest level since December at the first auction of the country's debt since a one-notch downgrade by Fitch's ratings agency last week in the wake of inconclusive elections.

Meanwhile, data showing that industrial production in the euro zone fell 0.4% in January, more than expectations for a 0.1% decline underlined concerns over the economic outlook for the region.

The dollar erased losses against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.10% to 96.17, up from a session low of 95.45.

The dollar weakened against the yen earlier Wednesday amid profit taking after the pair rose to fresh three-and-a-half year highs on Tuesday.

The dollar was hovering close to two-and-a-half year highs against the pound, with GBP/USD edging up 0.10% to 1.4912.

Data on Tuesday showing that U.K. manufacturing and industrial output slumped in February reinforced concerns over the possibility of a triple-dip recession and fuelled speculation that the Bank of England will restart its asset purchase program.

The greenback hit session highs against the Swiss franc with USD/CHF advancing 0.44% to 0.9513.

The greenback was higher against its Canadian, Australian and New Zealand counterparts, with USD/CAD rising 0.15% to 1.0271, AUD/USD losing 0.18% to trade at 1.0304 and NZD/USD down 0.29% to 0.8243.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, climbed 0.53% to 83.25. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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