The dollar got off to a positive start Wednesday, but has since pared its early gains. The buck is now down slightly against its major European rivals, but is holding onto a slight increase against the Japanese Yen.
Traders remain focused on trade issues as the week passes the midway point. U.S. and Canadian officials held trade talks in Washington today after failing to reach an agreement last week.
President Trump also reportedly intends to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as soon as a public comment period ends on Thursday.
With the value of exports falling and the value of imports rising, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing the U.S. trade deficit widened in the month of July. The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $50.1 billion in July from a revised $45.7 billion in June.
Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $50.1 billion from the $46.3 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar climbed to an early high of $1.1542 against the Euro Wednesday, but has since retreated to around $1.1625.
Eurozone retail sales dropped for the first time in three months in July, Eurostat reported Wednesday. Retail sales fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in July, in contrast to a 0.3 percent rise in June. This was the first fall since April, when sales were down 0.2 percent. Sales were expected to fall 0.1 percent.
The euro area private sector expanded slightly more than initially estimated in August, final data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday. The composite output index rose to 54.5 in August from July’s 54.3. The score was marginally above the flash estimate of 54.4.
The buck rose to a high of $1.2785 against the pound sterling Wednesday morning, but has since dropped to around $1.29.
UK services sector expanded at a faster pace in August on stronger new orders, survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.
The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 54.3 from 53.5 in July. The indicator has reached its second-highest level since February. The expected score was 53.9.
The greenback reached a high of Y111.756 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday, but has since eased back to around Y111.525.
The services sector in Japan continued to expand in August, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed on Wednesday with a PMI score of 51.5. That’s up from 51.3 in July, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.