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US Dollar Struggles for Direction on Mixed Data, US-China Trade Worries

November 27, 2019 at 13:43 by Andrew Moran

One dollar note with an American eagleThe US dollar is struggling for direction midweek after a wide range of economic data was mixed. The greenback is also seesawing against a myriad of other currencies on uncertainty over phase one of a US-China trade agreement. The buck is looking to extend its gains to close out the year after climbing more than 2% so far in 2019.

According to the US Census Bureau, the trade deficit tumbled 6% to $66.5 billion in October, up from $70.5 billion in November. This beat market expectations of $70.3 billion. The US is still on track to record the biggest trade deficit since 2008 as imports slumped 2.5% and exports dropped 0.7%.

Wholesale inventories climbed 0.2% in October, up from the 0.7% slide in September.

Consumer confidence has diminished at a crucial time when shoppers are heading to the stores – physical and digital – for the holiday season. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index declined from 126.1 in September to 125.5 in October, which represents the fourth monthly decrease. The market had penciled in a reading of 128.2.

Housing data was mixed. October new-home sales slipped in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index for September climbed 0.6%, and the Case-Shiller home-price index for September edged up 0.1%.

Meanwhile, on the trade front, Beijing and Washington officials have signaled that they are finalizing a partial trade deal that tackles some of the less pressing matters. But investors are concerned because a new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods is due on December 15. Top Chinese and US trade representatives have agreed on further talks to establish a preliminary phase one deal, China’s Ministry of Commerce verified.

President Donald Trump noted at the White House on Tuesday that both sides are in the “final throes” of coming up with a trade deal.

The US Dollar Index rose 0.04% to 98.29, from an opening of 98.25.

The USD/CAD currency pair dipped 0.07% to 1.3264, from an opening of 1.3272, at 12:36 GMT on Wednesday. The EUR/USD fell 0.16% to 1.1004, from an opening of 1.1023.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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