The dollar held firm while the Australian dollar floated close to more than four-month low on Wednesday, as traders’ waited for European and U.S. data for clues on whether the worst is over for the worldwide economy.
The foreign exchange market showed little reaction to worse-than-expected development in Chinese industrial yield and retail sales for April that emphasized the need for Beijing to level more stimulus measures to support the world's second-biggest economy.
The dollar was supported as trade issues stayed leading on investors' minds after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted that trade discussions with China had not collapsed.
"Investors will continue to monitor key barometer currency pairs," said Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia in Sydney.
"The Aussie and (the Chinese) yuan remain under pressure near recent lows," Twidale said in a note. "Traders will be looking for more confirmation of a cooling in the trade war before looking to enter into fresh long positions."
The dollar index versus a basket of six important opponents was largely firm at 97.514, having climbed 0.2 percent in the preceding session.
The market focuses next on euro zone and German gross domestic product (GDP) reports and U.S. retail sales and industrial product for April due later on Wednesday for pointers on the state of the global economy.
GDP in the 19 countries sharing the euro increased 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2019, according to a preliminary reading released late a month ago.
"Given China's weak data, markets won't be able to avoid a reaction if the U.S. figures are weak as well," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
"The question is whether we'll see weak results occurring in succession, or if Chinese data are weak, while U.S. figures remain strong," she said.
The euro was last a shade stable at $1.1206.
The single currency ended the preceding session weaker after Italy's delegate prime minister said the country was ready to break European Union budget rules on debt levels if necessary to lift employment.
The Australian dollar plunged 0.2 percent to $0.6928, as it drifted nearly its lowest since early January after data indicated the step of development in Australian wages came to a stop last quarter.
The Aussie is also often seen as a substitute for Chinese development due to Australia's export-reliant economy and China being the country's main destination for its commodities.
"If this trade situation continues to worsen, Aussie/yen is probably a cross that we want to take a good look at," said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.
"It will be hard to hold on to long Aussie positions, with the oil situation what it is."
Whereas in commodity market, U.S. crude and Brent crude futures were both dropped after the American Petroleum Institute announced a bigger-than-anticipated build in crude oil inventory.
Versus the yen, the dollar goes up to 109.65, adding to gains made in the preceding session, when it soared 0.3 percent.