Dollar edges down, awaits U.S. inflation data for potential relief

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

October 13, 2017

By Lisa Twaronite and Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar inched down on Friday, as U.S. Treasury yields stayed near recent lows, awaiting U.S. inflation data for a potential boost following this week’s fall from 10-week highs.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major peers, was 0.1 percent lower at 92.970 , and poised to shed 0.9 percent for the week.

The index had risen to the 10-week peak of 94.267 last Friday after robust U.S. wages data hardened expectations for a December Federal Reserve rate hike, but it has slipped through the week along with a steady decline in Treasury yields.

The dollar was slightly lower on the day against its Japanese counterpart at 112.120 yen, and on track for a fall of 0.3 percent for this week, during which it went as low as 111.990.

The greenback often makes strides against the yen in times of heightened investor risk appetite, but its response to Japan’s Nikkei climbing to a 21-year high this week has been limited.

“When the U.S. 10-year yield struggles below 2.4 percent, it is comes as no surprise to see the dollar having a difficult time rising against the yen,” said Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

“The difference between domestic and foreign bond yields drive short-term trends and yen selling momentum is suppressed when foreign yields stay relatively low.”

Although Wall Street shares have hit consecutive record highs, the Treasury yields were on track to decline on the week.

The 10-year yield stood at 2.328 percent, having slipped from the five-month peak above 2.400 percent touched on Oct. 9 on strong wages numbers.

Since then, the yield slipped on geopolitical concerns and as the Fed’s September meeting minutes showed that while policymakers are open to raising interest rates in December, they were still concerned about inflation.

Investors will have an opportunity to gauge the latest U.S. inflation figures when September consumer price data is released at 1230 GMT Friday.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.4 percent on-month and 2.6 percent on-year in September, the biggest annual gain since February 2012.

“PPI showed some signs of inflation, at least at the producer level, and next we’ll get a reading on CPI,” said Bill Northey, chief investment officer at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Helena, Montana.

“There are some encouraging nascent signs that there are building inflationary pressures, but with respect to looking at data points, we must acknowledge that these will be noisy data series,” Northey said, referring the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma which battered U.S. cities in recent weeks.

The Singapore dollar slipped 0.1 pct to 1.3540 versus the U.S. dollar from 1.3514 after the Monetary Authority of Singapore kept all its monetary policy settings unchanged on Friday, noting 2018 economic growth was likely to be slower than seen this year.

The euro was 0.15 percent higher at $1.1848 . It was up 1 percent on the week, during which an ebb in fears over Catalonia breaking away from Spain lifted the common currency.

(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite and Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer and Richard Borsuk)

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