Dollar Steady Ahead of US Inflation Data

An aging population and lagging population will make it hard for the US to hit Donald Trump's growth target according to Janet Yellen

The New Zealand dollar was trading at 73.16 U.S. cents as at 5 pm from 72.84 cents late yesterday but was weaker versus last Friday in NY when it traded at 73.80. USA retail sales unexpectedly fell in June for a second straight month, which could temper expectations of strong acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

Policymakers are confronted with benign inflation and a tight labour market as they weigh a third rate hike and announcing plans to start reducing the central bank's $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

Financial markets were pricing in a 47 percent chance of a 25 basis point rate hike in December, down from 55 per cent before the data, according to CME Group's FedWatch program. And the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow tracking estimate of second-quarter economic growth has fallen to just 2.4 percent, down from a high of more than four percent back in May.

The 10-year yield settled at 2.319%, compared with 2.348% Thursday and 2.393% a week earlier.

Dow closes at record as Target's outlook lifts retail shares
The Nasdaq 38.03 points, or 0.61%, to 6312.47-the largest one-week point and percentage again since early December. Target added it expects second-quarter earnings to come in above the high end of the forecast.

Consumer prices in the U.S. came in unchanged in the month of June, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday.

Excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, retail sales slipped 0.1 per cent last month after being unchanged in May.

European futures are pointing to a slightly higher open on Friday, adding to gains from earlier in the week which have broadly been triggered by the possibility of slower tightening from the Federal Reserve.

Signs of a pick-up in US inflation could reinforce views that the Fed would hike interest rates again sooner rather than later, which would lift Treasury yields and the dollar.

'Westworld,' 'Feud,' 'This Is Us' Among 2017 Emmy Award Nominees
The list of nominees for the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards , announced Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A broadcast network hasn't fielded a best drama series contender since CBS' " The Good Wife " was nominated in 2011.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 84.65 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 21,637.74. The Fed is now expected to raise interest rates once more this year, most likely in December, and announce plans to start reducing its roughly $4.5 trillion balance sheet following years of US Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities purchases. The two-year note fell to 1.347% from 1.363% at yesterday's close, and the 30-year fell to 2.892%. It was the yield's largest weekly decline since the week ended June 2.

Gold prices jumped 1.4 percent to the highest level in almost two weeks on Friday after data pointed to weak US inflation, reaffirming doubts that the USA central bank would again hike interest rates this year. The 2 yr yield was at 1.35% before the data and is down 2 bps since.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca AZN.L continued Thursday's slide, down 1.6 percent due to uncertainty around reports that CEO Pascal Soriot was preparing to leave the company. The contract finished the week up 1.5 percent, its first gain in six weeks. Oil prices rose 1 per cent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose 46 cents to settle at $46.54 per barrel.

Afghan girls granted USA visas for robotics competition after twice being denied
According to Politico , Trump intervened to grant the robotics teams visas after hearing about the situation. Officials say the administration could not be prouder of these young female scientists.

Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil, settled up 49 cents at US$48.91 per barrel.

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