Aussie advances as retail sales data beat estimate
A mixed bag of Australian data
AUD/USD was given a boost in lackluster trading in Asia after Australia’s retail sales came in stronger than forecast in May. Sales rose 0.4% m/m, the same gain as posted in April, but it was higher than the estimate of a 0.3% increase.
On a more bearish note, the trade surplus unexpectedly narrowed to A$827 million in May, contrasting sharply with expectations of a boost from A$977 million in April to A$1.2 billion.
The retail sales data won the battle, with AUD/USD pushing back above the 0.7400 handle.
AUD/USD Daily Chart
PBOC’s soothing words appear to work, for the currency
In other markets, the PBOC’s verbal intervention yesterday appeared to steady markets, with the offshore yuan posting modest gains versus the US dollar. However, Chinese equities struggled to echo such sentiment, and slid for a third straight day. The 6.70 level for the yuan vs dollar would appear to be a near-term line in the sand for the China central bank, given that the pair was trading around that level in August 2017 when the central bank relaxed some restrictions on the yuan. Yesterday’s USD/CNH high of 6.7335 was the highest since August 7, 2017.
USD/CNH Daily Chart
Sparse data calendar
It’s July 4th so we can expect activity to slow down as the European session progresses today. Data releases are limited to Markit June services PMI data for Spain, Italy, Germany, France, UK and for the combined Euro-zone.
You can access the full MarketPulse data calendar here: www.marketpulse.com/economic-events/