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Japanese Yen Keeps Falling as Retail Data Miss, Some Badly

Japanese Yen Keeps Falling as Retail Data Miss, Some Badly

2017-03-29 00:45:00
David Cottle, Analyst
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Talking Points:

  • Japanese retail sales missed forecasts in February
  • Large retailers were especially hard hit
  • The Yen was slipping anyway, against a broadly stronger US Dollar. It continued to.

The Japanese Yen continued to slide against an already resurgent US Dollar Wednesday after a lackluster set of official retail data from its home country.

Sales rose 0.2% on the month; that was just below the 0.3% rise expected. However, the annualized miss was much greater. Compared to February 2016, sales rose just 0.1%. That was very much below both the forecast 0.7% gain and January’s 1% rise. The picture for large retailers was even worse. Their sales fell 2.7% on the year, when a 1.8% slide had been expected.

Consumption has been a real weak spot for Japan, despite Tokyo’s strenuous efforts to revive it, and these figures show that it continues to be. They don’t bode well for official consumer price numbers which will see daylight on Thursday.

Rising anyway, USD/JPY

Japanese Yen Keeps Falling as Retail Data Miss, Some Badly

The US Dollar was already bouncing back from four-month lows, a process which began in Tuesday’s North American session. Federal Reserve vice-chairman Stanley Fischer said in a televised interview that two more interest-rate hikes this year seemed "about right” to him. This is of course the Fed’s well-trodden official line, but his comments nevertheless revitalized Dollar bulls who had started to doubt the thesis, worried about the Administration’s legislative power.

Political uncertainties surrounding Britain's exit from the EU also hit European currencies, while signs of ebullient US consumer confidence further supported the greenback.

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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

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