The Australian dollar came under pressure against the US dollar earlier today despite retail sales data from Australia coming in better than most people expected.
Retail sales in Australia grew by 1.9% mom to AUD 35.09 billion in January 2023, exceeding market estimates of 1.5% and turning from a revised 4% slump in the previous month, flash data showed.
Non-food industries rebounded from large falls in December. Department stores had the largest rise (8.8%), followed by clothing, footwear and personal accessory (6.5%), other retailing (2.9%), and household goods retailing (1.1%).
Cafes, restaurants, and takeaway food rose (1.2%) to a new record high after slowing growth in recent months. Meantime, food retailing had the smallest rise (0.3%).
Retail turnover rose across all states and territories, a reversal of last month’s declines across the country. Ben Dorber, ABS head of retail statistics said, “The continued return of large-scale sporting and cultural events in January, combined with high costs reflected in prices, has boosted sales in catering services which are part of the cafes, restaurants and takeaway food industry.”
The USDJPY pair traded above the 136.00 level as traders awaited the outcome of the departure of Governor Kuroda and CPI data from Japan later this week.
Earlier today a nominee for one of the two Bank of Japan deputy Governor positions Uchida basically repeated what Kuroda has been saying for some time.
The nominee noted the Japan CPI peeking out towards below 2% by around middle of this year. Japan also released weak industrial production data earlier today.
Industrial production in Japan decreased by 4.6% month-on-month in January 2023, falling at the steepest pace in eight months and exceeding forecasts for a 2.6% drop, preliminary data showed.
Industries that mainly contributed to the decline were motor vehicles, production machinery and electronic parts & devices. Meanwhile, an increase in industrial production was recorded in general-purpose & business-oriented machinery, chemicals and petroleum & coal products.
On an annual basis, industrial production fell 3.1% in January, the third straight month of decline.