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US dollar underpinned by US yields, sterling steadies

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The US dollar got support from higher US Treasury yields in early Asian trading on Tuesday, while sterling arrested a recent slide, which followed concerns about Theresa May's ability to stay on as British prime minister.

[TOKYO] The US dollar got support from higher US Treasury yields in early Asian trading on Tuesday, while sterling arrested a recent slide, which followed concerns about Theresa May's ability to stay on as British prime minister.

The US dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was steady on the day at 94.499 .

Against its Japanese counterpart, the US dollar inched 0.1 per cent higher to 113.70 yen, but remained below its eight-month high of 114.735 hit last week.

"The dollar is getting support from US yields, but I am actually surprised that it did not go higher, so perhaps the correlation between yields and the dollar is breaking down," said Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

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"But with the Fed expected to hike rates in December, the dollar could go higher" in the coming weeks, he said.

The yield on two-year US Treasury notes scaled a nine-year peak on Monday, as the yield curve resumed its flattening and investors priced in a 25-basis-point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.405 per cent from its US close on Monday of 2.4 per cent. It was at 2.3 per cent as early as Nov 8.

The euro was steady at US$1.1670, holding well above last week's a 3-1/2-month low of US$1.1553.

Sterling edged up 0.1 per cent to US$1.3122 after coming under pressure from political turmoil ahead of this week's debate by British lawmakers about the government's plan to leave the European Union.

The debate on the Brexit bill kicks off on Tuesday and Wednesday, and takes place against an unstable political backdrop. As many as 40 of Mrs May's lawmakers would support a no-confidence motion against her, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.

Also in focus this week, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Bank of England head Mark Carney will form a panel on central bank communication at the ECB-hosted conference in Frankfurt later on Tuesday.

REUTERS

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