Dollar Stages Strong Comeback On Bullish Prelude To Next Week's Retail Sales

Bulls? struggle has paid off with a steep dollar rally through the morning session hours on Thursday. Despite the intensity and breadth of the move across most of the dollar-denominated pairs, the trigger wasn?t a top tier indicator but rather a number of smaller inputs as well as the customary technical contribution.

Taking a look at the charts, EURUSD gave up on 1.35 when it began its 80-point plunge from overnight highs to 1.3430. Making a more notable break, the British pound succeeded its previous advance against the greenback when the pair broke 1.9910 support on a 130-point tumble that hasn?t shown signs of stopping at the time of this writing. Even the carry pairs were coming around to follow up on dollar strength. USDCHF shook off Wednesday?s consolidation to rally nearly 100 points to 1.2255 and little in the way of resistance above. Finally, while the USDJPY was going the way of the dollar, the pair did not enjoy the same steady rally as the others. The pair was up 80 points from the spike, overnight low, though consolidation below 121.50 kept bullish momentum under control.
For those matching up Thursday?s economic calendar to spot yesterday, few would have forecasted such a rally. Nonetheless, the greenback was steeped into a considerable rally this morning as local data supported an earlier turn in momentum. The top indicators on the US docket this morning was the wholesales inventory and sales number for April and last month?s ICSC Chain Store Sales index. The wholesales number came first, supporting the currency overall. Inventory growth cooled to a four-month low 0.3 percent pick up for the month. This in turn led to a drop in the inventory/sales ratio to a 1.12, matching the record low set last year. Together, these two figures support expectations for a rebound in production as managers look to rebuild inventories after two quarters of burn off. This should offer a helping hand to second quarter GDP after seeing the drop in stock over the first three months of the year deduct nearly one percentage point from expansion.
Wading through the rest of the wholesale data, the actual sales component may have disappointed in a vacuum since it cooled from a 2.1 percent pace increase in the previous month to 1.3 percent pick up. However, traders shrugged the data off since this component has a significant lag to the retail and other smaller sales reports. What?s more, the market was able to garner a fresh take on spending through today?s ICSC sales report. An aggregate of chain-store sales from 50 of the largest retailers in the US, the gauge reported a 2.5 percent increase in sales over the year through May. While this was well below the 4.5 percent print for the same month a year ago, it was still a considerable rebound from April?s 1.9 percent drop - the biggest on record. Looking at the sector breakdown, it was not surprising to see the apparel and furniture chains reporting the only notable drawdowns. Apparel firms are still making up for the large 10.1 percent drop in sales from the previous period when an unusual falling for Easter and the coldest April in a decade weighed on spending. The underperformance in furniture stores needs little explanation with the housing sector recession still in full swing. Putting this report to better use, it may forecast a strong number from the government?s retail sales statistics next week, and traders may be banking on that outcome.
Bears may be tempted to officially call the turn in US equities as the benchmarks work on their third consecutive decline on weak retail numbers. By 15:40 GMT, the S&P 500 was off 0.72 percent at 1,506.51 as the percentage leader for the session. At the same time the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.69 percent to 2,569.33 while the Dow was down 0.54 percent at 13,393.18. Leading the dour sentiment spreading through the market was the world?s largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores. Shares lost 1.5 percent or $0.74 to $50.01 after announcing its smaller than expected increase in same-store sales for May. For a deal update, the group of investors looking to buy Biomet upped their bid for the firm to $11.4 billion. Biomet shares jumped 3.1 percent on the news to $45.59.
Though the dollar was leading an FX charge, the treasuries market was the true stand out for the day. With the RBNZ and ECB hiking their own benchmark lending rates within the last 36 hours, the excess liquidity in global markets has raised awareness in the Fed?s position. The ten-year note plunged in a 26/32nds drop to 95-18 by 15:40 GMT leading its yield to surge 11 basis points to 5.074. The t-bond fell 1-13/32nds to 93-17 as its own yield climbed 10 basis points to 5.179.