Dollar firm on Fed hike prospects, Aussie inches up after China GDP

The dollar was steady against the yen and euro on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. data kept alive prospects of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates before year-end.

The Australian dollar inched up after Chinese data on Monday showed growth in the world’s second biggest economy easing in the third quarter, adding pressure on policymakers to roll out more support measures.

The U.S. dollar rose 0.1 percent to 119.53 yen JPY= after gaining 0.4 percent on Friday. The greenback dipped to as low as 119.15 as Tokyo shares began the session significantly lower, but pared its losses as equities regained some of the ground they shed.

“There isn’t much in terms of U.S. and Japanese data to trade on this week, so participants will look to the Nikkei for incentive,” said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.

The safe-haven yen tends to gather bids when domestic equities suffer losses.

The euro nudged up 0.1 percent to $1.1357 EUR=, having shed 0.4 percent the previous day.

The Australian dollar, often used as a proxy of China trades, edged up 0.3 percent to $0.7288 AUD=D4 after Chinese third quarter economic growth eased to 6.9 percent from 7.0 percent in April-June.

Third quarter growth managed to slightly beat expectations but was still the slowest since the global financial crisis.

The Aussie lost about 1.6 percent last week on the dollar’s broad gains and a slide in copper prices.

The U.S. dollar got a boost at the end of last week from an upward revision in industrial production for August and a University of Michigan survey showing a sharp rebound in consumer sentiment, which pushed U.S. debt yields higher. ECONUS

The greenback had hit a 7-week low of 118.065 yen while the euro had risen to a 7-week peak of $1.1495 earlier last week after downbeat U.S. indicators and concerns about China’s economy undermined prospects of the Fed hiking rates before year-end.

The divergence of monetary policies between the United States and those in Japan and the euro zone also underpinned the dollar.

“To be sure, it was not only the U.S. side that was driving the exchange rates. The dollar recovered smartly… this was aided by the Japanese government downgrading its economic assessment and the final estimate of August industrial production,” wrote Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Japan’s government lowered its assessment of the economy and industrial production last week as output sagged.

“Even though the Bank of Japan has shown no sign that it is preparing new stimulative measures, many in the market, still smarting from last year’s surprise expect additional easing to be announced at the end of the month,” Chandler said.

Not all in the market, however, appear to be bracing for further BOJ easing as the central bank makes its decision on Oct. 30.

“Many foreign players seem to be expecting the BOJ to ease, but domestic players are taking a more cynical view. In any case, few appear to be willing to commit big positions on a further easing,” Ogino at Global-info Co said.

The euro flagged last week after a European Central Bank policymaker hinted of the need for further monetary easing.

The dollar index edged up 0.2 percent to 94.700 .DXY and put further distance between a 7-week trough of 93.806 touched last Thursday

Source: Reuters

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