WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Wednesday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. Investors were disappointed by the weaker than expected retail sales data reported this morning, but have a number of economic reports to look forward to in the next two days. Weekly jobless claims, industrial production and consumer sentiment are among the upcoming reports.
U.S. retail sales fell for a third month in a row in February, according to figures from the Commerce Department. Retail sales were off 0.1 percent, disappointing economists looking for growth of 0.4 percent.
U.S. wholesale prices rose slightly in February, roughly in line with the tepid growth seen in consumer prices. On a monthly basis, the producer price index that measures wholesale inflation was up 0.2% following January's 0.4% increase. That's tepid but still more than the 0.1% growth expected by economists.
The European Central Bank will end the asset purchase programme only when inflation makes sufficient progress in its path towards the target of 'below, but close to 2 percent' over the medium term, President Mario Draghi said Wednesday.
Although inflation is converging towards the target over the medium term, the central bank requires more evidence, Draghi said at a conference organized by the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability, in Frankfurt.
'We still need to see further evidence that inflation dynamics are moving in the right direction,' he said. The monetary policy will remain patient, persistent and prudent to guarantee the return of inflation to the target, said Draghi.
The dollar climbed to a high of $1.2346 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since eased back to around $1.2375.
Eurozone industrial production declined for the first time in four months in January, Eurostat reported Thursday. Industrial production decreased 1 percent month-on-month in January, in contrast to December's 0.4 percent rise. This was the first fall since last September and also bigger than the forecast of 0.4 percent drop.
Eurozone employment grew at a slower pace in the three months ended December, data from Eurostat showed Wednesday. Employment rose 0.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter, just below the 0.4 percent stable rate of increase in the third quarter.
Germany's consumer price inflation eased as initially estimated in February, final data from Destatis showed Wednesday. Consumer price inflation eased to 1.4 percent in February from 1.6 percent in January. This was the third consecutive decrease and the lowest since November 2016.
The buck rose to a high of $1.3924 against the pound sterling Wednesday, but has since retreated to around $1.3975.
Members of the Bank of Japan's monetary policy board said that the country's economic growth is continuing at a satisfactory rate, minutes from the bank's meeting on January 22-23 revealed on Wednesday.
The members added that exports were on a rising trend, which was helping to fuel the recovery.
According to BoJ, the economy will continue growing at a pace above its potential through fiscal 2018 at around 1.4 percent. The outlook for the fiscal 2019 was kept at 0.7 percent.
The greenback reached an early high of Y106.747 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since dropped to around Y106.225.
The value of core machine orders in Japan jumped a seasonally adjusted 8.2 percent on month in January, the Cabinet Office said on Thursday, coming in at 872.3 billion yen. The headline figure topped expectations for an increase of 5.2 percent following the upwardly revised 9.3 percent contraction in December.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX