US consumers go shopping once more, lifting the dollar

The back-and-forth nature of trading in markets this week was strengthened this afternoon, as US indices fell back in the wake of stronger retail sales figures. 

It continues to be a seesaw week for stock markets, with US markets taking a downward move after Wednesday’s bounce while European stock indices manage to hold on to their gains for the day. US retail sales provided a point of light in an otherwise dull session, rising 1.8% after last month’s 1% drop, relieving fears that the world’s most important economy was seeing a sustained slowdown in consumer spending. While it is important not to invest Options Expiry with too much importance, it seems like everyone is avoiding buying the dip before tomorrow. In addition, the second half of September has proven to be a tough one for markets in recent years, and memories of 2008, 2011 and 2015 cast a long shadow. 

The dollar is the key driver of all movement this week it seems, and with US shoppers back out in force in August the greenback has been given a lift. Fed tapering might be rather a damp squib in terms of market volatility, but it continues to provide a reason to buy the dollar, and from the looks of it the greenback will continue to make headway over time. 

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