The small gain in January retail sales bucked expectations for monthly U.S. cash register receipts to show their first back-to-back drop in 4-1/2 years.
The dollar jumped against the yen after the data, rising to a one-month high of 108.22 yen before easing to 108.11 yen, up 0.8 percent from late Tuesday.
Dealers reported substantial selling interest above 108 yen, suggesting the greenback may have difficulty holding above that level for long.
Analysts said the sunny U.S. retail sales report was helping boost risk appetite. That tends to weigh on the yen, which investors borrow cheaply to buy higher-yield currencies.