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USD runs out of steam

Published December 6, 2019

Author : Brett Gordon

The USD retreated against a basket of currencies on weak data out of the US.  The US trade deficit tumbled 7.6% in October to USD47.2 billion and hitting its lowest level in 17-months as both imports and exports declined. Meanwhile, the US and China still try to nut out a “phase one” deal with only 10 days until the next round of schedule tariffs are imposed. China is urging the US for proportional reductions in tariffs as part of the deal.  The Trump administration has not made it clear yet whether they will go through with tariffs and have continued to convey mixed messages to markets as a negotiating tactic.  Market sentiment is expected to become more volatile the closer we move towards the December 15 deadline without any US concessions.

US weekly jobless claims came in slightly better than expected, declining 10,000 to 203,000 and hitting their lowest level in 7 months. Exporters will be hoping this reflects positively in tonight’s key US non-farm payrolls report.

And lastly, in a historic move, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed a House committee to draft articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump which could see him ousted from office.

AUD Retail Sales Disappoint  

Retail sales were flat in October from the month prior, where economists had forecasted gains of 0.3%. The Australian surplus also shrank to a surprisingly low AUD4.5 billion in October as prices for iron ore tumbled.