Yen weakens as Japan growth slows more than forecast

Retail Sales

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index rose for the first time in seven days amid speculation an improving economy will allow the central bank to pare stimulus later this year.

U.S. retail sales climbed 0.3% in July after rising 0.4% in June, according to a Bloomberg survey before tomorrow’s Commerce Department report. The Fed is buying $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage debt each month to put downward pressure on interest rates.

Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart will give a speech in that city tomorrow on current economic issues. He told Market News International that “the progress to date is pretty impressive and certainly should be factored into the readiness of the economy to move forward without asset purchases,” according to an article published on Aug. 7.

“The fundamentals remain in place that the U.S. is a better economic story,” said Callum Henderson, global head of currency research at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. “The trend remains higher for the dollar.”

The Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Index rose 0.4% to 1,020.81 after dropping to 1,015.49 on Aug. 8, the lowest level since June 19.

The rand declined for the first time in three days before the release of retail sales data that economists said will add to evidence of a slowdown in Africa’s biggest economy.

South African sales growth slowed to 3% in June from 6.2% in the previous month, according to the median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Mining output contracted in June while manufacturing production declined, reports showed last week.

The rand fell 0.6% to 9.8806 per dollar after strengthening to 9.6994 on Aug. 9, the most since July 26.

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