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16.06.2019
11:55 PM


New Zealand Services Sector Accelerates In May - AiG

The services sector in New Zealand continued to expand in May, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from BusinessNZ revealed on Monday with a performance of Services Index score of 53.6.

That's up from 52.0 in April, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

However, the May result was still below the long term average of 54.4 for the survey.

Individually, sales, supplier deliveries, and new orders all remained in expansion territory, while employment and stocks swung to expansion after contracting in the previous month.


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16.06.2019
11:45 PM


*New Zealand Performance Of Services Index 53.6 In May - BusinessNZ

New Zealand Performance Of Services Index 53.6 In May - BusinessNZ


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16.06.2019
11:00 PM


New Zealand Services Index Data Due On Monday

New Zealand will on Monday see May results for the Performance of Services Index from BusinessNZ, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity. In April, the index score was 51.8.

Japan will release May numbers for department store sales and Tokyo condominium sales. In April, nationwide department store sales were down 1.1 percent on year and Tokyo-area department store sales fell an annual 0.8 percent. Tokyo condo sales plummeted 39.3 percent in April.

Indonesia will provide May figures for imports, exports and trade balance. In April, imports were worth $15.10 billion and exports were at $12.60 billion for a trade deficit of $2.51 billion.

Singapore will see May numbers for imports, exports and trade balance. In April, imports were worth SGD41.28 billion and exports were at SGD44.25 billion for a trade surplus of SGD2.97 billion.


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14.06.2019
09:45 PM


Dollar Rises On Strong Retail Sales Data

Buoyed by data showing a jump in retail sales in the month of May, the U.S. dollar moved higher against most major currencies on Friday, even as traders continued to hope the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year.

The Federal Reserve, which is scheduled to meet next week, is most likely to hold rates unchanged for now. Although some analysts are expecting a 25 basis points cut in rate, many are of the view that a cut is likely only in July.

The dollar index rose to 97.58, the highest level since June 3, and stayed firm around that mark, gaining nearly 0.6% over previous close.

The dollar was up nearly 0.6% against the euro, at $1.1209, rising from $1.1275 a unit of the EU currency.

Against British Pound Sterling, the dollar was even more stronger, as it surged up 0.73% to $1.2581.

The safe haven currency yen too exhibited weakness against the greenback, easing to 108.55 yen a dollar after opening at 108.37.

Final data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's industrial production rose 0.6% month-on-month in April, in line with estimate, reversing a 0.6% fall in March.

The dollar was up sharply against the aussie, loonie and Swiss franc as well, with the respective currencies falling 0.67%, 0.62% and 0.5%, to 0.6869, 1.3410 and 0.9990.

In U.S. economic news today, data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales climbed by 0.5% in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3% in April. Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6% compared to the 0.2% drop originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.5% in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April.

A report from the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production rose by more than expected in the month of May, climbing by 0.4%, following a revised 0.4% decrease in April.

Industrial production had been expected to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 0.5% drop originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the University of Michigan said consumer sentiment in the U.S. has deteriorated in the month of June, reflecting concerns about the impact of higher tariffs.

The preliminary report said the consumer sentiment index fell to 97.9 in June from 100.0 in May, while economists had expected the index to dip to 98.0.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index climbed to 112.5 in June from 110.0 in the previous month.

Meanwhile, data released by the Commerce Department showed business inventories climbed by 0.5% in April after coming in virtually unchanged in March, matching expectations.

Wholesale inventories showed a notable 0.8% increase, while retail and manufacturing inventories rose by 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively.


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14.06.2019
08:20 PM


Treasuries Close Roughly Flat Following Lackluster Session

Treasuries showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading session on Friday before ending the day roughly flat.

Bond prices spent most of the trading day lingering near the unchanged line. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, inched up by less than a basis point to 2.093 percent.

The lackluster performance came as traders digested a Commerce Department report showing a substantial upward revision to retail sales data for April.

The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, climbed by 0.5 percent in May. The April reading was upwardly revised from no change to a 0.4 percent gain.

FTN Financial chief economist Chris Low called the April revisions the "real story" of the report, noting the "trajectory of second quarter consumption just transformed from ho-hum to solid."

"Needless to say, this is important," Low said. "The collapse of consumption in Q1 and failure of consumption to recover in April was one of the most compelling reasons justifying an interest rate cut."

"There are still other reasons, of course. Business confidence has tumbled. Business investment has slowed. Manufacturing is in trouble," he added. "But consumers, it seems, are alright, which means the risk of recession is diminished."

The Federal Reserve also released a report showing a bigger than expected increase in industrial production in May, although the University of Michigan said its reading on consumer sentiment dropped in June amid concerns about higher tariffs. Next week's trading is likely to be driven by reaction to the announcement of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision on Wednesday.

Most economists expect the Fed to leave interest rates unchanged, although the central bank is expected to provide indications that it is considering lowering rates in the near future.

The Fed decision is likely to overshadow some ordinarily closely watched housing data, including reports on homebuilder confidence, housing starts, and existing home sales.


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14.06.2019
08:07 PM


Oil Futures End Modestly Higher, But Post Weekly Loss Of 2.7%

Crude oil prices moved up on Friday amid an escalation in geopolitical tensions following the recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

However, prices came off higher levels as the session progressed with traders reacting to the latest reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the OPEC on energy demand outlook.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July ended up $0.23, or about 0.4%, at $52.51 a barrel, off the day's high of $53.98 a barrel.

For the week, WTA crude oil futures shed about 2.7%. Brent crude oil futures lost about 2.3% in the week.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has cut its outlook for oil demand growth in 2019, saying economic sentiment is weakening and the consequences for oil demand are becoming apparent.

The IEA revised down its 2019 demand growth estimate by 100,000 barrels to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), but said it would climb to 1.4 million bpd for 2020.

The OPEC too has cut its forecast for growth in global oil demand due to trade disputes and hints at risk of a further reduction.

The OPEC now expects oil demand to rise by 1.14 million barrels per day this year, 70,000 barrels per day less than previously expected.

OPEC and its allies are scheduled to meet in July to decide on supply curbs.

Traders also weighed the likely consequences of the recent attacks on oil tanksers in the Gulf of Oman on global oil supply.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, accused Iran of orchestrating a series of attacks on tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, though Iran denied any involvement.

"These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran," Pompeo told reporters.

The U.S. military has released a video showing what it claimed was Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the key waterway.


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14.06.2019
07:25 PM


Gold Futures Extend Winning Streak To 4th Day

Gold futures gave up most of their gains and ended just marginally higher on Friday, as the dollar gained in strength against most major currencies after data showed a notable improvement in U.S. retail sales in the month of May.

The dollar index rose to 97.58, gaining nearly 0.6%.

Gold futures rose to $1,362.20 an ounce earlier in the session, and looked poised to settle at a fourteen-month high.

Gold futures for August eventually settled at $1,344.50 an ounce, up just $0.80, or about 0.1%, from previous close.

On Thursday, gold futures for August ended up $6.90, or 0.5%, at $1,343.70 an ounce. For the week, gold futures shed about 0.1%.

Silver futures for July ended down $0.089, at $14.803 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled lower by $0.0270, at $2.6295 per pound.

The yellow metal's uptick earlier in the session was due to traders' preference for the safe haven asset amid rising concerns over tensions in the Middle East where a couple of oil tankers were attacked earlier in the week, and worries about global economy after data showed a slowdown in Chinese industrial output growth.

Geopolitical tensions heightened, with the Trump administration blaming Iran for an attack on two oil tankers at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

"These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran," U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told reporters.

The U.S. military has released a video showing what it claimed was Iran's Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the key waterway.

In economic news, China's industrial output growth slowed to a more than 17-year low of 5% in May amid an escalating trade war with the United States.

In U.S. economic news today, Data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales climbed by 0.5% in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3% in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6% compared to the 0.2% drop originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the Federal Reserve said U.S. industrial production rose by more than expected in the month of May, climbing by 0.4%, following a revised 0.4% decrease in April.

Industrial production had been expected to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 0.5% drop originally reported for the previous month.

Markets now await a two-day policy meeting by the Federal Reserve next week. The press conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell is likely to grab attention for clues about rate cut amid slowing global growth due to rising trade tensions with China.


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14.06.2019
03:19 PM


U.S. Business Inventories Climb In Line With Estimates In April

After reporting virtually no change in U.S. business inventories in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing inventories increased in line with economist estimates in the month of April.

The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.5 percent in April after coming in virtually unchanged in March, matching expectations.

Wholesale inventories showed a notable 0.8 percent increase, while retail and manufacturing inventories rose by 0.5 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, the report said business sales fell by 0.2 percent in April after soaring by 1.3 percent in the previous month.

While retail sales rose by 0.3 percent, wholesale and manufacturing sales dropped by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

With inventories rising and sales falling, the total business inventories/sales ratio inched up to 1.39 in April from 1.38 in March.


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14.06.2019
03:18 PM


Russia Slashes Key Interest Rate, Signals More Easing

Russia's central bank cut the key interest rate for the first time in over a year in line with its earlier guidance, and hinted at more reduction in future amid slowing inflation and weaker growth. The Board of Directors, led by Governor Elvira Nabiullina, decided to cut the key rate by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent, the Bank of Russia said in a statement on Friday. The bank had kept the rate unchanged for three policy sessions in a row.

The previous change in the rate was a quarter-point hike in December 2018. A similar size raise was undertaken in September last year, which was the first since 2014.

The latest reduction was the first in over a year since a quarter-point reduction in March 2018. While annual inflation is slowing, expectations remain elevated, the bank said, adding that short-term pro-inflationary risks have abated compared to March.

"The ruble's strengthening since the beginning of the year made an additional contribution to inflation slowdown," Nabiullina said Inflation is estimated to have reached 5 percent in June from 5.1 percent in May.

The central bank expects growth to remain below its expectations in the first half of the year. Citing these circumstances, the Bank of Russia trimmed the end-of-the-year annual inflation forecast for 2019 to 4.7-5.2 percent from 4.2-4.7 percent.

The outlook was lowered as the pass-through of the VAT increase to prices has been completed and the relatively favorable external conditions and moderate domestic demand have been sustained.

The bank continues to expect annual inflation to stay close to 4 percent. "If?the situation develops in?line with the baseline forecast, the Bank of?Russia admits the possibility of?further key rate reduction at?one of?the upcoming Board of?Directors' meetings and a?transition to?neutral monetary policy until mid-2020," the bank said.

"The revision of?the interest rate paths by?the US?Fed and other central banks in?advanced economies in?2019 H1?reduces the risks of?persistent capital outflows from emerging markets," the bank said.

The central bank also cut its GDP growth forecast for 2019 to?1.0-1.5 percent from 1.2-1.7 percent. The bank expects the growth momentum to improve in coming years due to the implementation of national projects and reach 2-3 percent in 2021. ING economist Dmitry Dolgin said the the Bank of Russia has returned to an easing cycle with the latest reduction and could cut the key rate further by 50-100 basis points in the next 12 months. "We now see high likelihood of a couple of cuts in July and September," Dolgin said.

"The longer term path appears less certain, given recent indications of an easing in budget policy from 2020."


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14.06.2019
03:12 PM


U.S. Consumer Sentiment Deteriorates Amid Concerns About Higher Tariffs

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. has deteriorated in the month of June, according to a report released by the University of Michigan on Friday, with the pullback in sentiment reflecting concerns about the impact of higher tariffs.

The preliminary report said the consumer sentiment index fell to 97.9 in June from 100.0 in May, while economists had expected the index to dip to 98.0.

"Some of the decline was due to expected tariffs on Mexican imports, which may be reversed in late June, but most of the concern was with the 25% tariffs on nearly half of all Chinese imports," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

He added, "Consumers responded by lowering growth prospects for the national economy, and as a consequence, reduced the expected gains in employment."

The decrease in consumer sentiment reflected a deterioration in expectations, with the index of consumer expectations tumbling to 88.6 in June from 93.5 in May.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index climbed to 112.5 in June from 110.0 in the previous month.

Inflation expectations showed a notable decline during the month, with one-year inflation expectations falling to 2.6 percent from 2.9 percent and five-year inflation expectations slumping to 2.2 percent from 2.6 percent.

"Consumers anticipated an average long-term inflation rate of just 2.2%, the lowest rate the surveys have recorded since the question was introduced forty years ago," Curtin said.


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14.06.2019
03:03 PM


Dollar Little Changed Following U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index

Following the release of the University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for June at 10:00 am ET Friday, the greenback changed little against its major counterparts.

The greenback was trading at 108.33 against the yen, 0.9965 against the franc, 1.1245 against the euro and 1.2623 against the pound around 10:01 am ET.


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14.06.2019
03:00 PM


*U.S. Business Inventories Climb 0.5% In April

U.S. Business Inventories Climb 0.5% In April


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14.06.2019
03:00 PM


*U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Drops To 97.9 In June

U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index Drops To 97.9 In June


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14.06.2019
02:58 PM


Dollar Mixed Ahead Of U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index

The University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for June is set for release at 10:00 am ET Friday. Ahead of the data, the greenback traded mixed against its major counterparts. While the greenback rose against the franc and the yen, it was steady against the pound and the euro.

The greenback was worth 108.35 against the yen, 0.9965 against the franc, 1.1241 against the euro and 1.2622 against the pound as of 9:55 am ET.


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14.06.2019
02:57 PM


U.S. Industrial Production Rises More Than Expected In May

Reflecting a substantial rebound in utilities output, the Federal Reserve released a report on Friday showing U.S. industrial production rose by more than expected in the month of May.

The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.4 percent in May following a revised 0.4 percent decrease in April.

Industrial production had been expected to edge up by 0.2 percent compared to the 0.5 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The bigger than expected rebound in industrial production came as utilities output surged up by 2.1 percent in May after plummeting by 3.1 percent in April.

The report said manufacturing output also rose by 0.2 percent in May after falling by 0.5 percent in April, while mining output inched up by 0.1 percent following a 2.2 percent nosedive.

Additionally, the Fed said capacity utilization for the industrial sector crept up to 78.1 percent in May from 77.9 percent in April. Economists had expected capacity utilization to tick up to 78.0 percent.

Capacity utilization in the utilities sector climbed to 77.5 percent and capacity utilization in the manufacturing sector inched up to 75.7 percent, while capacity utilization in the mining sector dipped to 91.3 percent.


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14.06.2019
02:33 PM


Strong U.S. Retail Sales Growth Buoys Dollar

The U.S. dollar was notably higher against its major opponents in the European session on Friday, as a data showed that nation's retail sales growth improved in May, reducing some of fears about a slowdown in economic growth.

Data from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.5 percent in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April.

Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Investors await a two-day policy meeting by the Federal Reserve next week, which warp up with a decision on Wednesday.

The press conference by Fed Chair Jerome Powell is likely to grab attention for clues about rate cut amid slowing global growth due to rising trade tensions with China.

The currency was steady against its major counterparts in the Asian session.

The greenback advanced to 1.2624 against the pound, its biggest since June 3. The greenback may test resistance around the 1.24 level, if it rises again.

The greenback that ended Thursday's trading at 1.1276 against the euro spiked up to an 8-day high of 1.1240. The currency is seen finding resistance around the 1.10 region.

Data from Destatis showed that Germany's wholesale price inflation slowed in May after accelerating in April.

Wholesale prices advanced 1.6 percent year-on-year in May, slower than the April's 2.1 percent increase. Having dropped to a session's low of 108.16 against the yen at 3:30 am ET, the greenback reversed direction and rose to 108.45. The greenback is poised to find resistance around the 111.00 region.

Final data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's industrial production grew moderately in April, as initially estimated.

Industrial production rose 0.6 percent month-on-month in April, in line with estimate, reversing a 0.6 percent fall in March.

The U.S. currency firmed to an 11-day high of 0.9979 against the franc, up from Thursday's closing value of 0.9938. The greenback is likely to find resistance around the 1.01 region.

The greenback appreciated to a 2-week high of 0.6513 against the kiwi and a 3-week high of 0.6884 against the aussie, compared to yesterday's closing values of 0.6567 and 0.6915, respectively. On the upside, 0.64 and 0.67 are likely seen as the next resistance levels for the greenback against the kiwi and the aussie, respectively.

The American unit reached as high as 1.3355 against the loonie, setting a weekly high. At yesterday's close, the pair was worth 1.3326. Should the greenback rises further, 1.35 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index for June is set for release shortly.


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14.06.2019
02:15 PM


*U.S. Industrial Production Rises 0.4% In May

U.S. Industrial Production Rises 0.4% In May


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14.06.2019
02:15 PM


U.S. Retail Sales Rise 0.5% In May, April Data Revised Significantly Higher

A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed U.S. retail sales rose by slightly less than expected in the month of May, although the report also showed a substantial upward revision to the retail sales data for April.

The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The retail sales growth in May was partly due to a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which jumped by 0.7 percent in April after falling by 0.5 percent in April.

Excluding the rebound in auto sales, retail sales still rose by 0.5 percent in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April.

Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.

Sales by non-store retailers, electronics and appliance stores, and sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and book stores all showed notable increases.

Closely watched core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline, building materials and food services, climbed by 0.5 percent in May. The April reading was upwardly revised from no change to a 0.4 percent gain.

FTN Financial chief economist Chris Low called the April revisions the "real story" of the report, noting the "trajectory of second quarter consumption just transformed from ho-hum to solid."

"Needless to say, this is important," Low said. "The collapse of consumption in Q1 and failure of consumption to recover in April was one of the most compelling reasons justifying an interest rate cut."

"There are still other reasons, of course. Business confidence has tumbled. Business investment has slowed. Manufacturing is in trouble," he added. "But consumers, it seems, are alright, which means the risk of recession is diminished."


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14.06.2019
01:38 PM


U.S. Retail Sales Climb 0.5% In May

A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed U.S. retail sales rose by slightly less than expected in the month of May, although the report also showed a substantial upward revision to the retail sales data for April.

The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.5 percent in May after rising by an upwardly revised 0.3 percent in April.

Economists had expected retail sales to increase by 0.6 percent compared to the 0.2 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding a rebound in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales still rose by 0.5 percent in May, matching the upwardly revised increase in April.

Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent uptick originally reported for the previous month.


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14.06.2019
01:37 PM


*Dollar Strengthens To 11-day High Of 0.9970 Against Franc

Dollar Strengthens To 11-day High Of 0.9970 Against Franc


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14.06.2019
01:36 PM


*Dollar Spikes Up To 8-day High Of 1.1248 Vs Euro After U.S. Retail Sales

Dollar Spikes Up To 8-day High Of 1.1248 Vs Euro After U.S. Retail Sales


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14.06.2019
01:32 PM


Dollar Climbs Following U.S. Retail Sales

After the release of U.S. retail sales for May at 8:30 am ET Friday, the greenback advanced against its major counterparts.

The greenback was trading at 108.35 against the yen, 0.9967 against the franc, 1.1252 against the euro and 1.2631 against the pound around 8:31 am ET.


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14.06.2019
01:30 PM


*U.S. Retail Sales Climb 0.5% In May, Ex-Auto Sales Also Rise 0.5%

U.S. Retail Sales Climb 0.5% In May, Ex-Auto Sales Also Rise 0.5%


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14.06.2019
01:26 PM


Dollar Steady Ahead Of U.S. Retail Sales

The U.S. retail sales for May are due at 8:30 am ET Friday. Ahead of the data, the greenback held steady against its major counterparts.

The greenback was worth 108.21 against the yen, 0.9952 against the franc, 1.1265 against the euro and 1.2651 against the pound as of 8:25 am ET.


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14.06.2019
01:06 PM


Russian Ruble At More Than 3-week High Versus Dollar After Russia Decision

The Russian Ruble gained ground against the U.S. dollar in the European session on Friday, after Russia's central bank cut the key interest rate, after leaving it unchanged for three policy sessions in a row and hinted at more reduction in future.

The Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent, the Bank of Russia said in a statement.

While annual inflation is slowing, expectations remain elevated, the bank said. However, short-term pro-inflationary risks have abated compared to March, the bank added.

The Russian Ruble appreciated to more than 3-week high of 64.27 against the greenback, compared to Thursday's closing value of 64.55. The Ruble is likely to find resistance around the 61.00 level.


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