By Aaron Hankin
The Chinese yuan traded lower on Wednesday after a round of weaker-than-expected economic data (https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-economy-was-losing-steam-even-before-trumps-new-tariffs-11557899055) out the world's second-largest economy.
The offshore yuan hit an intraday low at 6.9177, just shy of its 2019 low at 6.9194 versus the dollar.
In early afternoon action, one dollar was buying 6.9087 yuan.
Read:Opinion: Here's the new China math for U.S. stock market investors (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-the-new-china-calculation-for-us-stock-market-investors-2019-05-13)
What are analysts saying?
"Economic indicators out of China today fell short of expectations, raising fresh doubts about the growth outlook. Industrial output slowed sharply from 8.5% to 5.4% year-over-year in April, while retail sales grew at the weakest rate in 16 years," wrote Raffi Boyadjian, investment research analyst at XM.
Read:Lloyd Blankfein: Tariffs may be 'an effective negotiating tool' (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lloyd-blankfein-tariffs-may-be-an-effective-negotiating-tool-2019-05-14)
China data weighs on the Aussie
The Australian dollar, a bellwether for the Chinese economy, was the worst-performing major currency on Wednesday, hitting a fresh four-month low versus the buck.
"The downbeat [China economic] numbers weighed on the Australian dollar, which is often viewed as a proxy for China-related developments. Further weighing on the Aussie were unimpressive wage growth figures out of Australia, pushing the currency to a fresh 4-month low of 0.6917 versus the U.S. dollar today," Boyadjian added.
In most recent trade the Aussie was at $0.6922 compared with $0.6944.
The neighboring New Zealand dollar fell to $0.6562 compared with $0.6576 late Tuesday.
Read:Opinion: Washington and Wall Street wake up to the reality that Beijing is happy to walk away (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/washington-and-wall-street-wake-up-to-the-reality-that-beijing-is-happy-to-walk-away-2019-05-13)
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback's strength versus six trading rivals, was higher at 97.689.
The majority of the gains for the greenback came against the British pound, which fell to $1.2842, down 0.5%.
"GBP/USD remains in a downward spiral as talks on Brexit continue at a slow pace. Parliament has set the date to vote on the Brexit bill during the first week of June," wrote Dean Popplewell, vice president of market analysis, at Oanda.
Meanwhile, the euro was little changed at $1.1206 and the Swiss franc was unchanged, with a single dollar fetching 1.0093 francs.
Elsewhere, the Japanese yen was a little higher at Yen109.47.
Read:Trump's trade war with China will hit TVs, dishwashers, toys, lithium batteries, iPhones -- even Silly Putty (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trumps-latest-tariff-hike-on-chinese-goods-will-hit-the-toy-industry-and-electronics-2019-05-10)
Retail sales for the month of April fell 0.2%, the government said on Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected sales to rise 0.1%.
Read: Retail sales fall in April and show broad weakness in key part of the U.S. economy (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retail-sales-fall-02-in-april-2019-05-15)
U.S. stocks started trade under pressure in the wake of the weaker-than-expected data before turning mostly higher.
Read:Stock market turns up after upbeat reports on international trade relations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-futures-edge-lower-ahead-of-retail-sales-data-trade-worries-linger-2019-05-15)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 15, 2019 13:58 ET (17:58 GMT)
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