Forex – Dollar steady after mixed U.S. data

Investing.com – The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies on Thursday as a series of mixed U.S. reports clouded the economic outlook and diminished expectations for a near term rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales fell 0.3% in August, worse than expectations for a 0.1% decline. It was the first decline in five months.

In a separate report, the Department of Labor said the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, pointing to further tightening in the labor market.

But the Labor Department also reported that U.S. producer prices were flat in August.

The data indicated that the Fed will leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting, which is scheduled for September 20-21.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard said Monday that the case to tighten monetary policy in the coming months is less compelling.

The Fed raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade in December.

Expectations of higher interest rates typically boost the dollar by making it more attractive to yield seeking investors.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was flat at 95.39.

The euro was little changed, with EUR/USD at 1.1248.

The dollar was steady against the yen, with USD/JPY at 102.42.

Sterling was weaker, with GBP/USD down 0.21% to 1.3209.

The pound came under pressure after the Bank of England kept monetary policy on hold on hold, but indicated that it could cut interest rates again as soon as November unless the economy picks up.