FXStreet (Bali) - The Kiwi ends Asia as the main winner, despite the fact that gains were far from impressive considering the upbeat NZ retail sales release, which under a different set of circumstances (sentiment) would have probably prompted up the currency quite a bit further.

NZD/USD was benefited by a solid NZ retail sales report, which saw retail sales ex autos (core) for Q2 at +1.2% vs +0.8% last, with retail sales Q2 stood at +1% vs +0.7% last, both reading beating estimates of 0.7-0.8% range. The pair initially rose towards 0.8485-90 area, but sellers stepped in, forcing price to retreat near its NY close, currently at 0.8460-65.

AUD/USD retraced down towards 0.9285-90 seeking for liquidity, which was found ahead of the key technical area (flip zone) at 0.9280-90, with the dip buying noted allowing the price to retest 0.93 after a 0.9319 high on Wednesday following soft US retail sales, which served as the excuse to stop out weak shorts ahead of a descending trendline just overhead circa 0.9325, key for today.

USD/JPY kept strengthening for a 4th consecutive day, taking the rate very close to test 102.70-80 supply, which should protect the upside ahead of further selling interest reported ahead of 103.00 round number. The nikkei 225 was up over +0.6% ahead of the close, supporting Yen crosses.

To sum up, NZD retains Wed's bid tone thanks to local data, although still feels heavy until further technical breakouts seen; The USD was well bid across the board too, helped by a sight pick up in 10 year US yields, up 1.5bp TO 2.4350; On the flip side, the Yen was the main laggard.

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