Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning. It has been downgraded to Category 1, but the sheer size of the storm suggests flooding will be like that of a Category 4 storm.
The storm, however, has not blown any ill winds onto Wall Street. The major indices have added to this week’s gains in early trading despite weaker-than-expected Retail Sales data. CPI and Core CPI were below consensus forecasts, but upward revisions to the July report offset the disappointment. Wall Street is emboldened by the mild thaw in US/China trade relations sparked by reports of a new round of discussions in the next few weeks. Pre-weekend profit-taking may limit gains today.
Chart: change in retail sales
USDJPY is in an uptrend channel bound by 111.50 and 112.20 supported by a break of resistance at 111.60 and US 10-year Treasury yields flirting with 3.0%.
Global markets get a respite from top-tier US economic reports next week leaving traders to search elsewhere for direction. USDJPY traders will be focused on Wednesday’s Japan trade data and the Bank of Japan monetary policy report. As usual, it shouldn’t have any impact on FX markets as traders are more focused on US Treasury yields and US/China trade. The Reserve Bank of Australia minutes are out on Tuesday, but they won’t do anything to reduce the downward pressure on AUDUSD.