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Dollar ticks up in Asia after several days of losses

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The dollar ticked up against the yen and euro on Friday after days of losses linked to weak US data that have weighed on hopes for an imminent Federal Reserve rate hike.

[TOKYO] The dollar ticked up against the yen and euro on Friday after days of losses linked to weak US data that have weighed on hopes for an imminent Federal Reserve rate hike.

In Tokyo, the greenback rose to 119.40 yen from 119.19 yen in New York, while the euro was slightly weaker at US$1.1409 against US$1.1414.

The 19-nation eurozone unit strengthened to 136.14 yen from 136.04 yen in US trade, underpinned by bright eurozone economic growth data.

By contrast, the US has seen a string of soft figures lately.

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On Thursday, US producer price index fell 0.4 per cent last month more than wiped out March's first increase since October and fell well short of forecasts for a 0.2 per cent rise. That came a day after news that retail sales saw their weakest year-on-year growth since 2009.

The results follow other poor recent indicators - including anaemic wage growth, a tepid manufacturing sector and weak economic growth - that have thrown cold water on hopes that the Fed will raise interest rates soon, a hike that would be a plus for the dollar.

"We remain constructive on the US dollar but accept there is no near-term catalyst for recovery," BNP Paribas said in a report.

"The June 5 employment report may be the USD's next best chance for new inspiration."

The euro, meanwhile, has been buoyed this week by news the eurozone economy met expectations and grew 0.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter in January-March, up from 0.3 per cent in the previous three months.

However, market-watchers remain nervous about cash-strapped Greece's plodding talks with creditors on overhauling its bailout.

The country's Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has warned Athens could run out of money by the end of the month if it does not reach a deal that unlocks billions of dollars in much-needed cash to service its debts and avert a default.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda is delivering a speech Friday that investors will mine for clues about a possible expansion of the central bank's monetary easing plan.

"We are still looking for an extension or, in particular, a transformation of their monetary easing policy," National Australia Bank said in a commentary.

"But, more recently Kuroda has not acknowledged that need, thus any hint today would be negative for (the yen)."

AFP

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