Dollar falls on weak retail sales

AP News
Posted: Jun 13, 2012 4:24 PM
Dollar falls on weak retail sales

The dollar fell against most major currencies Wednesday after the U.S. government reported that retail sales dropped in the last two months.

The Commerce Department said spending at retail businesses in April and May fell 0.2 percent in each month. Excluding gas station sales, retail sales grew modestly in May, but still slipped in April.

The euro rose to $1.2589 late Wednesday from $1.2498 late Tuesday. The dollar fell to 79.33 Japanese yen from 79.49 yen and to 0.9540 Swiss franc from 0.9610 Swiss franc.

Traders bought euros despite rising borrowing rates in both Italy and Spain. Higher rates are usually a sign that investors are worried about the finances of those countries.

Some traders are buying euros on the expectation that Greeks will vote for pro-bailout politicians at this weekend's election, said currency research director Kathleen Brooks in a note to clients. If anti-bailout politicians win, the country may be forced to leave the euro.

In other trading Wednesday, the British pound fell to $1.5532 from $1.5570. The dollar rose to 1.0282 Canadian dollar from 1.0270 Canadian dollar.