eurusd_081309
Source: FXTrek Intellicharts

usdjpy_081309
Source: FXTrek Intellicharts


Looking to the data on hand, US advance retail sales slipped 0.1 percent in July, missing forecasts for a 0.8 percent increase, while sales fell 8.3 percent from a year earlier. A breakdown of the report shows a 2.4 percent rise in sales of motor vehicles and parts, thanks to the US government's "cash for clunkers" program, but beyond that factor most other components fell, including building materials (-2.1 percent), gasoline stations (-2.1 percent), and electronics & appliance stores (-1.4 percent). All told, consumer spending habits remain lackluster, suggesting that last week's surprisingly strong non-farm payrolls report may have been a misleading sign of an economic turnaround in the US.

Other evidence of this comes from initial jobless claims, which rose by 4,000 during the week ending August 8 to 558,000, pushing the 4-week moving average up to 565,000 from 556,500, indicating that some of the improvements we saw in July may have started to deteriorate once again in August.