Dollar Fluctuates After August Retail Sales Forecast

The dollar fluctuated after a report showed retail sales rose less than forecast last month, damping speculation the Federal Reserve policy makers will reduce monetary stimulus.

The U.S. currency erased gains against the euro and the yen after the report showed a 0.2 percent increase in retail sales was the smallest in four months and trailed estimates for a 0.5 percent gain. The U.S. central bank may begin to taper the $85 billion-per-month bond purchases it uses to lower borrowing costs at its next meeting Sept. 17-18.

“The report is obviously at the margin a little bit weaker,” Brad Bechtel, the managing director at Faros Trading LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said in a phone interview. “The dollar is drifting lower and the euro-dollar is the primary beneficiary of that so far. Dollar-yen is obviously tracking U.S. yields lower.”

The dollar fell 0.1 percent to 99.48 yen at 8:59 a.m. New York time, having rising as much as 0.4 percent. The U.S. currency declined 0.1 percent to $1.3309 per euro, after gaining as much as 0.3 percent. The yen was little changed at 132.38 per euro.