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US dollar slips as Trump takes rein, most Asia markets up
[HONG KONG] The US dollar retreated against most of its peers on Monday, with warnings of wild volatility ahead as Donald Trump kicked off his presidency promising to put Americas first and hitting out at global trade deals.
While trading floors are ravaged by uncertainty over the tycoon's plans, shares in most Asian markets were higher ON Monday following a positive lead from Wall Street, though Japan's Nikkei tanked as the greenback slipped against the yen.
Mr Trump's inauguration speech Friday continued his campaign rhetoric, saying "every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families".
However, he again provided no colour on what he intends to do to ramp up the world's top economy but on Sunday vowed to start renegotiating the North American Free-Trade Agreement during upcoming talks with Mexico and Canada.
Shane Oliver, Sydney-based global investment strategist at AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg News: "Markets are now waiting for more evidence that Donald Trump will deliver on fiscal stimulus and deregulation.
"Shares remain vulnerable to a further correction or consolidation in the next month or so."
But the US dollar - which soared in November and December on expectation his big-spending, tax-cutting, deregulation plans would fan inflation - continued to struggle in January.
In early trade on Monday, it bought 113.60 yen, well down from 114.60 yen Friday and more than four per cent down from the highs touched late in December. It was also well down against the euro and pound despite ongoing concerns about Britain's exit from the European Union.
"I suspect we're entering extremely volatile times for the dollar," Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA, said in a note.
"There remains a high level of uncertainty about the new administration's dollar policies, especially following President Trump's recent remarks on the strong dollar directed at China."
Mr Trump last week said the greenback was too strong against China's yuan, which he claimed was "killing" the US economy.
The stronger yen dragged exporters on Tokyo's Nikkei, which ended the morning 1.1 per cent lower.
Sydney was also down, shedding 0.5 per cent but Hong Kong added 0.7 per cent and Shanghai rose 0.4 per cent.
Seoul put on 0.2 per cent and Singapore was up 0.3 per cent, while Taipei surged almost one per cent ahead of a week-long Lunar New Year holiday.