The US retail sales were released on Friday by the Commerce Department and it was unexpectedly flat causing dollar to weaken and the major stocks to mix.
Retail sales in July saw a cautious spending on American consumers as it held steady after three months of gain at US$457.7 billion. Compared with last year’s data, in wich the retail sales rose to 2.3%. Last month’s drop was mainly due to sales decline over the month on the eight of the 13 major retail sectors in the report.
The US dollar weakened after the announcement of the flat retail sales data as it closed to 95.254, the lowest in a week, due to a 0.18% drop.
The greenback went down 0.66% against yen, finishing at 101.19 and fell 0.21% against the euro, closing at $1.1157.
Meanwhile, US major indices, after reaching records-high on Thursday, took different routes on Friday due to the disappointing retail sales record.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 37.05 points, or 0.20 %, to close at 18 576.47 while the Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 1.74 points, or 0.08 %, to end at 2 184.05
NASDAQ finished to its fresh all-time high as it added 4.50 points, or 0.09%, closing up at its second straight record of 5 232.89.
Oil prices ended sharply higher on Friday although US oil rig count continued surging for the seventh straight week. The weakening of the dollar, after US retail data went flat last month, also helped the black gold gain ground.
Baker Hughes, an oil driller, reported that this week’s rig count touched its highest level since February as it jumped by 15 to 396.
The Brent Crude futures gained 87 cents, or 1.87%, closing at $46.90 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate was up $1, or 2.3%, to finish at $44.49, its highest since July 21.
However, oil prices are still more than 12% below their last peak in June due to supply glut and poor demand.