The major talking point yesterday was again Greece, where major differences with their international creditors raised the pressure on the Athens government, as IMF negotiators walked out of debt talks in Brussels and flew home.
The surprise IMF announcement came as the European Union told leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras bluntly to stop gambling with his cash-strapped country's future and take crucial decisions needed to avert a devastating default.
"There are major differences between us in most key areas," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington. "There has been no progress in narrowing these differences recently and thus we are well away from an agreement."
Asked about concerns for the process raised by the departure of IMF and Greek negotiators, an EU diplomat said: "If the process was working properly the president would not have had to have a meeting with Tsipras today."
Tsipras told reporters he had worked on bridging the remaining differences on fiscal and financing issues. Tsipras has received the message from Greek voters, most of whom say they want to remain in the euro zone and want him to make concessions for a deal.
The Dollar temporarily strengthened after retail sales increased 1.2 percent last month, matching forecast of a 0.2 percent advance in April. The gain was broad-based with 11 of 13 major categories gaining.
The data show American consumers are ready to spend on more than just cars, unlocking months of savings from cheap gasoline and higher incomes as the US jobs market improves. A pickup in purchases accompanied by faster wage gains improves the outlook for growth this year.
The figures used to calculate gross domestic product, which exclude categories such as food services, auto dealers, home-improvement stores and service stations, increased 0.7 percent in May after rising 0.1 percent the month before.
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits remained below 300,000 for a 14th straight week, a sign of labour market strength that will help fuel U.S. growth. The data indicates employers are retaining workers in anticipation of a pickup in demand this quarter after a slow start to the year. Combined with a spring spurt in payrolls, the employment picture bodes well for household spending, the biggest part of the economy.
Federal Reserve policy makers are watching the labour market as they consider the timing of the first interest rate increase since 2006. The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to gather on June 16-17.
13:30 - USD - PPI
15:00 - USD - Prelim UoM consumer sentiment
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