Australia markets closed

Forex – USD stays strong ahead of signing of trade deal - The U.S. dollar remained strong on Friday and was set to end the week on a high note just days before the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China.

The US Dollar Index Futures was flat at 97.45 by 9:30 PM ET (02:30 GMT).

The AUD/USD pair was down 0.02% to 0.6855 and the NZD/USD was down 0.11% to 0.6607. The Australian dollar was helped on Friday by strong retail sales data. Australia’s statistics agency said retail sales jumped 0.9% in November, more than double the expected 0.4% increase.

The USD/JPY pair was up 0.02% to 109.53.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the reference rate of the yuan at 6.9351, stronger than the 6.9497 fix set on Thursday. The yuan has been strengthening over the past few weeks.

On Thursday, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that consumer prices rose 4.5% in December from a year earlier while producer prices fell 0.5%.

Meanwhile, markets continue to look forward to the signing of a phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China next week.

The GBP/USD was down 0.01% to 1.3064 after the passage of Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill, which sets the stage for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union by January 31.

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