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BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD)

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CURRENCIES: China's Yuan Nears 2019 Low After Weaker-than-expected Economic Data

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05/15/2019 | 03:47pm EDT

By Aaron Hankin

The Chinese yuan weakened Wednesday after a round of weaker-than-expected economic data (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-economy-was-losing-steam-even-before-trumps-new-tariffs-11557899055) out the world's second-largest economy.

The offshore yuan hit an intraday low at 6.9177, just shy of its 2019 low at 6.9194 versus the dollar.

In early afternoon action, one dollar was buying 6.9047 yuan.

What are analysts saying?

"Economic indicators out of China today fell short of expectations, raising fresh doubts about the growth outlook. Industrial output slowed sharply from 8.5% to 5.4% year-over-year in April, while retail sales grew at the weakest rate in 16 years," wrote Raffi Boyadjian, investment research analyst at XM.

China data weighs on the Aussie

The Australian dollar, a bellwether for the Chinese economy, was the worst-performing major currency on Wednesday, hitting a fresh four-month low versus the buck.

"The downbeat [China economic] numbers weighed on the Australian dollar, which is often viewed as a proxy for China-related developments. Further weighing on the Aussie were unimpressive wage growth figures out of Australia, pushing the currency to a fresh 4-month low of 0.6917 versus the U.S. dollar today," Boyadjian added.

In most recent trade the Aussie was at $0.6925, compared with $0.6944.

The neighboring New Zealand dollar fell to $0.6558, versus $0.6576 late Tuesday.

The greenback

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback's strength versus six trading rivals, was higher at 97.618.

The majority of the gains for the greenback came against the British pound,, which fell to $1.2840, down 0.5%.

"GBP/USD remains in a downward spiral as talks on Brexit continue at a slow pace. Parliament has set the date to vote on the Brexit bill during the first week of June," wrote Dean Popplewell, v.p. of market analysis at Oanda.

Meanwhile, the euro was little changed at $1.1202 and the Swiss franc was unchanged, with a single dollar fetching 1.0093 francs.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen was a little higher at Yen109.47.

Economic data

Retail sales for the month of April fell 0.2%, the government said on Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected sales to rise 0.1%.

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / CANADIAN DOLLAR (AUD/CAD) -0.11% 0.91885 Delayed Quote.-4.10%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) 0.04% 75.85 Delayed Quote.-1.79%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (AUD/NZD) -0.09% 1.04137 Delayed Quote.-0.50%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (AUD/CHF) 0.10% 0.6906 Delayed Quote.0.67%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.06% 0.704 Delayed Quote.0.22%
BRITISH POUND / AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (GBP/AUD) 0.19% 1.77497 Delayed Quote.-1.94%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) -0.35% 1.2499 Delayed Quote.-1.63%
EURO / AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (EUR/AUD) -0.02% 1.59274 Delayed Quote.-2.08%
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.33% 0.8976 Delayed Quote.-0.16%
EURO / SWISS FRANC (EUR/CHF) -0.20% 1.10114 Delayed Quote.-1.65%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.24% 1.12211 Delayed Quote.-1.79%
UNITED STATES DOLLAR (B) / CHINESE YUAN IN HONG KONG (USD/CNH) 0.02% 6.8779 Delayed Quote.0.15%
US DOLLAR INDEX 0.37% 97.151 End-of-day quote.0.48%
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