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FOREX-Dollar slips from one-month peak on profit taking after upbeat U.S. data
February 16, 2017 / 1:19 AM / in 9 months

FOREX-Dollar slips from one-month peak on profit taking after upbeat U.S. data

* Dollar retreats from a one-month high marked on upbeat U.S. data

* Euro recovers from a five-week low

By Yuzuha Oka

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The dollar took a breather on Thursday after climbing to a one-month high as a run of upbeat U.S. economic data rekindled expectations of an early rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index touched 101.76 on Wednesday, a peak unseen since Jan. 12, on the wake of better-than-expected U.S. inflation and retail sales data before retreating to 100.94 on profit-taking.

U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest gain in nearly four years, jumping 0.6 percent in January. Retail sales also outpaced expectations, increasing 0.4 percent last month compared to the analysts’ poll of 0.1 percent.

But some analysts also noted that the data may not as strong as it appears.

“Retail sales seemed to have been boosted by higher prices rather than an increase in the real consumption,” said Shin Kadota, senior forex strategist at Barclays.

“Investors also took profit as the dollar was trading high this week,” added Kadota. The dollar had a 10-session winning streak until Tuesday, since the start of February.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered no additional insight on the timing of the central bank’s next rate hike in her second day of economic testimony before Congress on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Yellen hinted more rate hikes were on the way as the jobs market has improved and inflation has shown signs of nearing the Fed’s two percent goal.

Not all U.S. data out on Wednesday were encouraging with industrial output and a gauge on home builder sentiment taking unexpected spills.

The euro edged up 0.2 percent at $1.0616, recovering from a five-week trough of $1.052 touched on Wednesday.

The dollar hovered near a two-week high versus the yen, last standing at 114.11 yen. The greenback fetched 114.95 yen on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar held on to slim gains after a slightly better-than-expected reading in January employment data.

The Australian dollar traded at $0.7722, up 0.1 percent on the day. (Reporting by Yuzuha Oka; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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