Euro Firm Despite Mixed Data & Risk-Off Sentiment

The euro was trading mostly higher today (though not against the extremely strong Japanese yen) even as domestic macroeconomic data was mixed and the general sentiment on the Forex market was in favor of safer currencies.

German retail sales fell 0.7% in January from the previous month instead of rising by 0.8% as analysts had predicted. At the same time, German import prices rose 0.5%, slightly above the median forecast of 0.4%, while export prices increased by 0.3%. PPI rose 0.4% in January from December in the eurozone as well as in the whole European Union, matching forecasts exactly, after increasing 0.1% in the previous month.

Meanwhile, markets continued to roil from the announcement of import tariffs by the United States. European Commission chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker heavily criticized the decision:

We strongly regret this step, which appears to represent a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry and not to be based on any national security justification.

We will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk … The EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests.

EUR/USD rallied from 1.2266 to 1.2315 as of 17:48 GMT today. EUR/GBP gained from 0.8903 to 0.8939. EUR/JPY was down from 130.30 to 129.55, touching the lowest level since September 8, before rebounding to 130.03.

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