18 August 2017
UK retail sales figures for July were slightly better than expected yesterday but the positives were diluted by downward revisions to May figures. Sterling popped a little higher on the headline but there was no follow through as the revisions were digested. The minor gain versus the euro was sustained but a generally stronger dollar theme kept cable on the back foot.
Eurozone inflation was, as expected, unchanged from the flash estimate but a larger than expected trade surplus in the region failed to prevent a slow decline in the euro. The early afternoon release of ECB minutes saw the euro drop sharply as concern was noted over a potential future overshoot in the value of the euro.
In the States, industrial production was a shade softer than expected but ongoing problems for President Trump were more of a focus as rumours (later denied) circulated that his Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn planned to resign. Once again, the dollar suffered as support for Donald Trump continued to slide.
After a busy period on the data and events calendar, it’s a relatively quiet end to the week with only the provisional read on the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index likely to have much effect on the market. Even here, given the FOMC minutes on Wednesday evening, there is a good chance it will pass without a fanfare. For the record, a small pullback is anticipated following two months of decline.
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