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Retail Sales Rise in The U.S, Bank of Japan Cuts Growth Forecast & GBPUSD Falls

U.S. Retail Sales on the rise

Figures from the United States on Friday revealed that retail sales continued to climb last month, as the economy reopened after the coronavirus restrictions eased.

The data showed that retail sales increased by 0.6% in June, which was better than the 0.4% rise markets had expected.

Along with this, the figure for May was revised to the downside, showing sales falling by 1.7%, after initially coming in at a drop of 1.3%.

Overall, sales were up by as much as 18.0% compared to the same period last year, as the majority of the United States was under lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic.

Despite this data, the S&P 500 was trading down 0.75% as of the market close.

Bank of Japan cuts growth forecast

 A week after it was announced that there will be no fans at this summer’s Tokyo Olympic games, the BOJ today cut Japan’s growth forecast.

The BOJ today confirmed that it now expects the Japanese economy to grow by 3.8% in the fiscal year ending March 2022.

Friday’s outlook is marginally down from the 4.0% projected in April, however, as Japan moved to a state of emergency in the last few weeks.

Despite this, the Bank of Japan Governor today stated that, “Japan’s economy is likely to gradually recover as vaccinations progress and the impact of the pandemic subsides”.

The country’s Nikkei 225 index traded 0.98% lower in today’s session, despite the words from Haruhiko Kuroda.

GBPUSD falls to 1-week low on consumer sentiment data

GBPUSD, or cable as it is known to some, fell to its lowest level this week in today’s session, as markets reacted to U.S. consumer sentiment data.

The move came upon the release of the University of Michigan report, which showed that its consumer sentiment index fell to 80.8 in the first half of July.

Today’s drop saw the index fall to its lowest since February and comes after a final reading of 85.5 in June.

As the index failed to hit market expectations of 86.5, GBPUSD fell to an intraday low of 1.3760.

Many now wait to see if consumer optimism will grow for the remainder of the month.

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