Sterling rises after upbeat retail sales numbers
The sterling rose after data from the UK showed that retail sales in January rose faster than expected. The retail sales rose by an annualized rate of 4.2%. This was higher than the 3.4% that traders were expecting. It was also higher than December’s growth of 3.1%. On a MoM basis, the retail sales rose by a percentage point. The core retail sales, which excludes the volatile food and energy prices rose by 4.1%, which was higher than the expected 3.0%.
In the United States, the retail sales data missed expectations. The headline retail sales numbers remained unchanged in December. Investors were expecting the data to show an increase of 0.2%. This was another miss, after the one released in January showed a contraction of 0.2%. The core retail sales were also unchanged in December, which was lower than the expected 0.1%. Similarly, the retail control was unchanged.
In China, data released today was mixed. The CPI numbers for January were lower than the consensus estimate. On an annualized basis, the CPI rose by 1.7%, which was lower than the expected 1.9%. The PPI of 0.1% too was lower than investors were expecting. On a positive note, the new loans for January rose to 3,230 billion yuan, which was better than the expected 2,800 billion yuan. This reflected the Chinese government’s stimulus package. The outstanding loan growth rose by 13.4% in January, higher than the expected 13.1%.
The EUR/USD pair declined sharply today to an intraday low of 1.1233. On the hourly chart, the pair’s current price is below the 42-day and the 21-day EMA. The RSI is approaching the important level of 30 while the price is also along the lower band of the Bollinger Bands. With data from the EU showing signs of weakness, there is a likelihood that the pair will continue moving lower.
The price of WTI continued to climb today, reaching an intraday high of $55.42. On the hourly chart, the pair is above the 21-day and 42-day EMA while the signal line of Stochastic is above the overbought level. The momentum indicator is above the 100 level, which is an indication that the price could continue moving higher.
The GBP/USD pair halted the sharp decline that started on 28 January when it reached a high of 1.3220. The pair today moved from a low of 1.2772 to a high of 1.2835. The current price of 1.2800 is along the 50% Fibonacci Retracement level. The price is between the lower and the middle line of the Bollinger Bands. The price could resume the downward trend. However, in the near-term, the pair could continue being volatile.