The Euro to US Dollar (EUR/USD) exchange rate strengthened on Thursday and is closing in on its highest level in a week as economic data out of the USA came in below economist forecasts.
The Euro to US Dollar (EUR/USD) exchange rate hit a session high of 0.745
According to the Washington based US Commerce Department, retail sales fell by 0.8% in January, a figure that was worse than a forecast fall of 0.5% and added to the 0.9% fall in sales recorded in the final month of last year.
The consecutive falls in sales were the first recorded since 2012 and indicate that consumer spending which is the biggest part of the economy fell, adding to concerns that the world’s largest economy could slow.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, slumped 0.9% in December, disappointing forecasts for a 0.4% decline. Core sales in November dropped 0.9%, upwardly revised from a previously reported fall of 1.0%.
‘We were kind of spoiled by two exceptionally good quarters of consumer spending. While the drop may cause some anxiety, it is likely to be temporary as strong job growth and lower gasoline prices are combining to give consumers more purchasing power,’ said an economist at RBS Securities.
Also weighing on the US Dollar was the release of jobless claims data, which showed that the number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits increased last week. Initial jobless claims increased by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted figure of 304,000. Economists had been forecasting for a rise of 6,000 to 285,000.
Ukraine Ceasefire Improves Market Sentiment
Also softening the US Dollar was news that a ceasefire deal had been reached between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. The deal will see hostilities cease on February 16 and will see the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line and constitutional reforms which will grant eastern Ukraine greater autonomy.
‘The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared, without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,’ said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has now surged, with more than 70 Ukrainian servicemen and at least 24 civilians killed so far this month, according to official Ukrainian figures.
The Euro advanced despite the release of disappointing regional data. Production fall by -0.2% on an annual basis, and inflation in Germany fell into negative territory for the first time in five years.
Euro Exchange Rates:
[table width=”100%” colwidth=”50|50|50|50|50″ colalign=”left|left|left|left|left”]
Currency, ,Currency,Rate ,
Euro,,US Dollar,1.1349 ,
Euro,,British Pound,0.7387 ,
Euro,,Australian Dollar,1.4777 ,
Euro,,Canadian Dollar,1.4228 ,