(Bloomberg) — The dollar weakened from a 12-year high against the euro, while U.S. equity-index futures rose as a report showed retail sales unexpectedly fell, bolstering the case for keeping interest rates low. Treasuries advanced with European bonds and metals gained.
The U.S. currency dropped 0.8 percent to $1.0627 per euro at 9:03 a.m. in New York. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.4 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1 percent. Shares in Shanghai climbed to a six-week high, copper advanced for the first time in three days as China’s credit growth exceeded economists’ estimates. The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid four basis points to 2.07 percent and Italy’s 30-year rate tumbled 18 basis points to a record-low 1.79 percent.
Sales at U.S. retailers fell in February for a third consecutive month, while jobless claims decreased more than forecast, reports showed Thursday. Speculation that the Federal Reserve is moving closer to increasing interest rates as counterparts in Europe and Asia ease policy sent the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index up 3.6 percent in the past six days.
“Certainly, the market is becoming a bit more cautious and there has been a lot of talk these past few days, can the trend continue, are we going to see parity in the next couple of days?” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.
The dollar fell against all but one of its 16 major counterparts, weakening 0.3 percent to the yen. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.7 percent.
Retail sales dropped 0.6 percent following a 0.8 percent decrease in January, Commerce Department figures showed. The median forecast of 86 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.3 percent gain.
Initial jobless claims fell 36,000 to a three-week low of 289,000 in the period ended March 7 from a revised 325,000 in the prior week, according to the Labor Department. The median forecast called for 305,000 new applications.
Citigroup Inc. added 3.5 percent in early New York trading after getting Fed approval to pay 5 cents a share in dividends and buy back as much as $7.8 billion of stock during the next five quarters, up from $1.2 billion over the past four.
Morgan Stanley gained 2.7 percent after boosting its payout to 15 cents a share, from 10 cents, and saying it will buy back as much as $3.1 billion of stock.
Intel Corp. fell 4 percent after cutting its first-quarter revenue outlook. Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. tumbled 24 percent in pre-market New York trading after postponing a new drug application and saying its chief executive
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and on the Nasdaq 100 Index are no longer available for trade on CME Group Inc.’s electronic trading platform.
The Stoxx 600 climbed for a second day after its biggest jump since Jan. 23 on Wednesday. Commodity producers advanced the most.
K+S AG climbed 6.7 percent after saying earnings this year will significantly exceed last year’s figures on higher prices for potash and salt. Deutsche Lufthansa AG rose 2.7 percent after saying operating profit will rise this year, boosted by its main passenger unit, the Austrian subsidiary and its catering business.
Asos Plc rallied 20 percent as the U.K.’s largest online- only fashion retailer reported second-quarter sales that beat analysts’ estimates. Serco Group Plc slid 15 percent after saying it will raise 555 million pounds ($832 million) in an underwritten rights offering at 101 pence.