The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell Friday, capping its largest one-week decline in more than a month, as another soft inflation reading boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve will be cautious in raising interest rates. Weak retail sales, meanwhile, signals that consumers have not responded to higher wage gains.
Other US data releases today pertained to June retail sales, a measure acting as a proxy for consumer spending. Interestingly, the -0.2% overall number included 0.4% growth in the online sales sector.
Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales slipped 0.1 per cent last month after being unchanged in May. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.1%. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of leading shares rebounded to rise 0.10 percent and close at 1520.41.
The University of MI survey will provide its latest snapshot of consumer confidence at 10 a.m. The consumer sentiment index is expected to edge down to 95.0 in July falling to 95.1 in June. Inventories are expected to rise by 0.2%.
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Fed Governor Lael Brainard embraced the plan to reduce the balance sheet "soon", but suggested her support for any future rate increases will depend in part on how inflation shapes up.
Paul Ashworth, Chief US Economist at Capital Economics, said, "Earlier this week, Chair Janet Yellen reiterated that the Fed would be watching the incoming inflation data particularly closely over the coming months". "I doubt this alone would lead to a risk-off market", said Hiroko Iwaki, senior fixed income strategist at Mizuho Securities. "Future removals of accommodation should be done in a gradual and patient manner".
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.29 yen from 113.28 yen. However, the number was higher than May's 0.3% contraction.
The Australian dollar rose 0.4 percent to $0.7758, well on track to post its best weekly performance in four months.
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That, however, started to show-up on Friday morning when we got even more disappointing USA data.
Industrial output fell 3.6% on a monthly basis instead of 3.3% decrease estimated previously. The British pound gained significantly relative to the greenback, moving up by 1.11% to climb above the $1.30 level.
The trade surplus increased to a seasonally adjusted Euro 19.7 billion in May from Euro 18.6 billion in April.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L continued Thursday's slide, down 1.6 percent due to uncertainty around reports that CEO Pascal Soriot was preparing to leave the company.
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WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished with modest gains on Thursday. Not surprisingly, this coincided with a weaker dollar: the USD tumbled 0.4% on the DXY index to just 95.34, its lowest since late September 2016.
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