Dollar pares gains, stocks rise, Bitcoin battered ahead of critical US consumer data

Markets remain in a positive mood despite growing inflation concerns. US retail sales and consumer sentiment figures are trigger volatility. Bitcoin remains on the back foot while Doge receives a boost from Tesla’s Musk. Coronavirus headlines are also eyed.

The US Producer Price Index rose in April by 0.6% monthly, more than expected, and Core PPI also shot higher. Thursday’s factory gates data came after Wednesday’s consumer figures also beat estimates and sent markets spiraling. However, stocks rebounded on Thursday and the mood remains upbeat on Friday, despite additional signs of wage increases coming from Amazon and MacDonalds. Weekly jobless claims extended their drop, falling to 473,000.

The upbeat mood has been weighing on the dollar, allowing EUR/USD to stabilize just under 1.21. and GBP/USD around 1.4050. Gold has also found its feet around $1,820.

Retail sales for April are in the spotlight on Friday, with moderate increases on the cards after consumption leaped by 9.8% in March. Investors will be eyeing the Control Group, the “core of the core.”

Later in the day, the University of Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index gauge for May is set to rise from April’s 88.3 points, yet remain below pre-pandemic levels. The inflation expectations’ components are eyed.

Middle-East: The violence between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza has been escalating, with growing fears of a ground conflict. Nevertheless, WTI Crude Oil is changing hands at around $63, below the highs.

COVID-19: The US Center for Disease Control announced that fully immunized people can abandon face masks and social distancing, an easing that may encourage more Americans to take up the vaccine. The pace has been slowing of late.

Britain is considering accelerating the administration of second doses amid worries that the variant coming from India is spreading quickly in the UK. Over half the population received one dose but only roughly a quarter got two doses. These new worries have cast doubt on the country’s reopening.

Bitcoin is trading under $50,000, licking its wounds from the news that Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange, is under investigation by US authorities. The news came after Elon Musk’s Tesla said it would discontinue accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for its electric cars.

On the other hand, DogeCoin has resumed its gains after Musk said he may try to assist developers of the dog-themed digital coin. Ethereum is under $4,000 and XRP below $1.40.

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