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Mystery euro surge lifts other currencies
The dollar weakened as the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against 16 others, fell 0.5% to 93.06. Despite the overnight fall, the dollar is on track to end 2016 with a gain of more than 3%.
U.K. retail sales are set to flatline in 2017 because of uncertainty caused by Britain's June vote to leave the European Union, according to a study released Thursday. The report from the KPMG-Ipsos Retail Think Tank, or RTT, showed that growth in this area is likely to stagnate during the year as consumers stop spending because of a lack of clarity over the U.K.'s future relationship with the EU. With lower one-off spending offsets any rise in spending on essential goods such as food and groceries, overall retail growth is likely to remain around 0.5%, it said.The weak pound and resulting increases in import costs mean retail prices are likely to rise by between 5% and 8% on average during the year.
After data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed smaller-than-expected growth in U.S. crude stockpiles, crude futures made minor gains overnight.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in Februar traded at $54.02 a barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.5%, in the Globex electronic session. March LCOH7, +0.53% Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $57.18 a barrel. Oil trading remained lukewarm before the New Year holiday. Global oil markets will be closed on Monday.