Forex – Yen Gains On Weak Export Data, Virus Fears; Yuan Drops

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Alex Ho

Investing.com – The Japanese yen gained on Thursday in Asia gained on Thursday in Asia amid weak export figures and fears about the mysterious virus in China.

The EUR/USD pair inched down 0.1% to 1.1082 as traders awaited the European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting due later in the day. The meeting will be followed bya press conference with President Christine Lagarde.

The USD/JPY pair lost 0.3% to 109.53 amid ongoing fears about the widening coronavirus outbreak, as authorities ramped up efforts to contain the virus ahead of the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday next week.

The World Health Organisation will decide later on Thursday whether to declare the situation a global health emergency.

On the data front, Japanese exports for December fell 6.3% in December as compared to a year before, data from country’s Ministry of Finance data showed. That was far lower than the expected 4.2% decrease.

The USD/CNY pair lost 0.4% to 6.9283.

The Australian dollar rose 0.2% to 0.6858 after a surprise drop in unemployment.

Meanwhile,the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 97.335, up 0.04%.

The index traded higher overnight after the National Association of Realtors said pending home sales rose 3.6% to a 5.54 million annual rate. That was the strongest pace of growth since February 2018.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forex – Dollar Pares Gains on Fears U.S.-China Trade Fight Not Over

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim

Invesing.com – The U.S. dollar was flat Tuesday, as sentiment on risk was hurt slightly on a report that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will remain in place through the 2020 election despite both sides expected to wrap up the phase one trade deal on Wednesday.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.01% 97.34.

Gains in the greenback were also kept in check by tamer U.S. inflation data that strengthened expectations the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates lower for longer.

The Labor Department reported that its rose 0.2% last month, missing economists’ forecasts of 0.3%.

The sluggish pace of consumer price pressures has continued despite the lengthy U.S.-China trade war, with overall prices held back by declines in cars and household utilities, and only modest gains in housing, BMO said.

Given that some of the other inflationary indicators – particularly the core PCE – have remained sluggish somewhat, it will “take a more consistent, broad move upward to spark more interest from the Fed,” the bank added.

Citing expectations for subdued inflation to continue, Kansas Federal Reserve president Esther George suggested would be appropriate for the Fed to keep rates on hold.

The pound rebounded from lows, meanwhile, even as speculation mounts that the Bank of England will cut interest rates should U.K. economic growth remain sluggish.

rose 0.32% to $ 1.305, while the was roughly flat at $ 1.113

The purchasing managers’ surveys on Jan. 24 will serve as the first sign of how the U.K.’s economy performed following December’s general election, Swissquote Bank said.

rose 0.05% to Y109.99 as demand for the yen ticked up on the report that tariffs on China will remain in place.

fell 0.04% to C$ 1.30, as the loonie found its footing, underpinned by a rise in oil prices, which are set to snap a five-day losing streak.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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China’s yuan gains after U.S. drops China FX manipulator label

By Yoruk Bahceli

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s yuan climbed to its highest level since July on Tuesday and the Japanese yen plumbed eight-month lows as the U.S. Treasury Department reversed its decision in August to designate China as a currency manipulator.

The Treasury Department’s new report on currency manipulators could help explain the reason for the Swiss franc surging to a 33-month high against the euro, some analysts said. [L8N29J36G] Washington included Switzerland on a watchlist, although other market participants said it had been expected and broader safe-haven flows were behind the franc’s move.

The announcement on the yuan came as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington ahead of Wednesday’s signing with U.S. President Donald Trump of a preliminary trade agreement aimed at easing tensions between the two countries.

“Washington’s decision to lift its designation of currency manipulator on China has added to the positive mood that has been already in place ahead of the signing of the trade deal,” said Minori Uchida, chief currency strategist at MUFG Bank.

People familiar with the negotiations said its removal was an important symbol of goodwill for Chinese officials.

China has also pledged to buy almost $ 80 billion of additional manufactured goods from the United States over the next two years as part of a trade war truce, according to a Reuters source.

The dollar rose as much as 0.3% against the Japanese yen to 110.22 yen , its highest since late May versus a currency that tends to weaken when investors are buoyant. It last stood at 109.97 yen.

In onshore trade, the yuan strengthened to as high as 6.8731 per dollar , its strongest since late July. China’s central bank set the midpoint of the yuan’s daily trading band at 6.8954 per dollar on Tuesday, its strongest fixing since Aug. 1.

The also firmed to its strongest level in six months, hitting 6.8662 yuan before easing off .

Chinese forecast-beating trade data also helped to boost optimism about the economy and the yuan.

Despite the optimism, some analysts said there were signs of a bid for safety.

The Swiss franc rose to its strongest since April 2017 at 1.0763 against the euro (), up nearly 0.5%. It rose 0.4% versus the dollar .

Some analysts said this reflected nervousness, as risky emerging market currencies such as the South African rand and Turkish lira fared poorly.

“The interesting question is how long can this optimism last, how much further can it go. A lot surely has to be in the price,” said Jane Foley, senior FX strategist at Rabobank.

“If we were to get another rise in tensions between the U.S. and China and if we were to turn our attention to phase two (of the trade deal)… it’s very likely that we will see the renminbi falling again,” Rabobank’s Foley said, adding that the currency might face a low at the 7.18 level hit in September.

In Europe, sterling weakened further on Tuesday, hitting a seven-week low against the euro at 85.95 pence before recovering. ()

The currency has come under pressure from weak data releases, raising the chances of a cut to interest rates by the Bank of England. Money markets forecast an almost 50% probability of a cut at a meeting on Jan. 30.

The euro was mildly supported by risk-on sentiment, remaining off a two-week low of $ 1.10855 () hit on Friday, last trading at $ 1.1124.

The gained 0.1% to 97.43 ().

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Gold gives back gains as the fear trade fades

Gold gives back $ 25 in gains

Gold remains in positive territory but has given back the bulk of its gains. It’s up $ 10 to $ 1562 from a high of $ 1588.

The move is part of a broader fade in the fear trade that started in European trading and has picked up in the past hour. 

 
This chart is beginning to look ominous.

Gold gives back $  25 in gains

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Swiss franc holds gains versus dollar on U.S.-Iran risk

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Swiss franc held gains against the dollar on Tuesday as traders sought save-havens amid heightened anxiety about potential Iranian retaliation to a U.S. drone strike that killed its most prominent military commander last week.

The yen, another safe-haven currency, pulled back from a three-month high versus the dollar, but sentiment remains fragile due to the increasing worries about armed conflict between the United States and Iran.

Highlighting the concerns, the U.S. currency nursed losses against sterling and the euro as the emergence of a new geopolitical flashpoint led some investors to reassess their tolerance for risk at the start of the new year.

“Sentiment clearly favors risk-off trades, but dollar/yen is not falling much because Japanese importers are buying,” said Yukio Ishizuki, foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.

“Excluding this real demand, the dollar is weak against other currencies. This reflects the situation in the Mid-East, but we need to see what happens next.”

Against the dollar, the Swiss franc was quoted at 0.9679 following a 0.5% jump on Monday toward its highest level in more than a year.

The yen was steady at 108.42 per dollar, off a three-month high of 107.77 touched on Monday.

The () against a basket of six major currencies stood at 96.623, following a 0.2% decline on Monday.

The United States has no plans to pull its troops out of Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Monday, following reports by Reuters and other media of a U.S. military letter informing Iraq officials about the repositioning of troops in preparation to leave.

This came after Friday’s drone strike in Baghdad ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, widely seen as Iran’s second most powerful figure behind Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The U.S. government says Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack U.S. interests in Iraq and the Middle East. Iran’s leaders have promised to avenge the killing.

The United States and Iran, or its proxies, have clashed in some form or another for decades over political and military influence in the Middle East.

Elsewhere in the currency market, the pound traded at $ 1.3170, following a 0.7% jump on Monday. The euro () was quoted at $ 1.1196 after a 0.4% gain in the previous session.

, another safe-haven asset, traded at $ 1,564.16 per ounce, just below a near seven-year high of $ 1,579.72 reached on Monday. [GOL/]

Investors await data due later Tuesday on the U.S. trade balance, factory orders, and the services sector to measure the health of the world’s largest economy.

The United States and China are expected to sign a preliminary deal on Jan. 15 to de-escalate a prolonged trade war, but rising geopolitical risks threaten to overshadow the benefits of reduced trade friction.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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S&P 500 edges higher by the slimmest of margins but gains for the week were solid

Closing changes

The S&P 500 was up 0.07 points to 3239.98 on the day. The Nasdaq was down 0.17% and the DJIA up 0.08%. The decline in the Nasdaq snapped an 11-day winning streak.

The larger action was outside of equities with some substantial moves throughout FX and a decent rally in fixed income.

On the week:

  • S&P 500 +0.58%
  • DJIA +0.67%
  • Nasdaq +0.92%

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U.S. dollar gains slightly after declining for two weeks

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – With the release of a series of data, the U.S. dollar gained some ground on Friday in Asia after declining for two weeks.

The rose 0.08% to 97.035 by 11:30 PM ET (03:30 GMT).

The greenback has made a slight comeback after drifting further on Thursday on the news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives. Trump is the third president to be impeached in U.S. history but is likely to survive a trial in the Republican-led Senate, which is expected to vote in January.

The National Association of Realtors reported that the existing-home sales had decreased 1.7% from October to an annual rate of 5.35 million in November. However, sales are up by 2.7% year on year compared to the 5.21 million in November 2018.

In addition, new job data pointed to sustained labour market strength with initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 18,000 to 234,000 for the week ended Dec. 14, said the Labour Department. The reading surged to a two-year high at 25,200 last week.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve released a flat manufacturing index for December on Thursday. The current general activity index fell 10.1 points to 0.3 in December – this is its weakest reading in six months and far below economists’ expectations of 8, according to a Reuters survey. The index tracks manufacturing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

“Manufacturing activity in the region was flat this month…” the federal reserve bank said in a release. “The survey’s broad indicator for current activity dropped to a reading near zero this month, although indicators for new orders, shipments, and employment remained at higher positive readings.”

“The survey’s future activity indexes remained positive, suggesting continued optimism about growth for the next six months,” it added.

The pair dropped 0.03% to 109.33.

The pair was down by 0.03% to 0.6604.

The pair was trading at 0.6894, up 0.15%.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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US stocks close with solid gains. S&P up on the week. Dow and Nasdaq show modest declines

Dow Jones rises by 1.17%

The major indices are closing with solid gains on the day after strong job gains. The Dow industrial average leads the way with a gain of over 1.2%. The S&P index and NASDAQ index rose by about 0.9% to 1.0%.

The final numbers are showing:

  • S&P index rose 28.42 points or 0.91% at 3145.85. The high price reached 3150.60. The low extended to 3134.62
  • NASDAQ index rose 85.826 points or 1.0%. The high price reached 8665.44. The low extended to 8630.57
  • Dow industrial average rose 336.90 points or 1.22% at 28014.69. The high price reached 28035.85. The low price extended to 27839.68

For the week, the S&P index squeaked out a small gain while the NASDAQ and Dow both ended with modest losses. The changes for the week are showing:

  • S&P index, +0.16%
  • NASDAQ index, -0.10%
  • Dow industrial average, -0.13%

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Yen, Swiss franc hold gains as trade war worries deepen

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – The yen and Swiss franc held gains against the dollar on Wednesday as appetite for safe-havens spiked after U.S. President Donald Trump warned a trade deal with China might not come until after the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

In offshore trade, China’s yuan traded near its weakest versus the dollar since October due to waning hopes for a truce in trade war between the world’s two-largest economies.

The dollar was broadly sold against major currencies, which helped sterling climb to its highest level in more that six months against the greenback.

Trump’s statement that he had “no deadline” for an agreement with China weakened sentiment and roiled financial markets, because trade friction could drag on global growth longer than many investors had anticipated.

The diminishing prospects for an agreement also reinforced expectations the United States could carry out its plan to raise tariffs even further on Chinese goods on Dec. 15.

“Expectations for a U.S.-China trade deal are fading, and dollar/yen has broken its support levels, so the bias is tilted to the downside,” said Takuya Kanda, general manager of research at Gaitame.com Research Institute in Tokyo.

“More tariffs would push dollar/yen lower still.”

The yen stood at 108.54 versus the dollar on Wednesday, close to its strongest since Nov. 22.

The Swiss franc was quoted at 0.9875 versus the dollar, near its highest level since Nov. 4.

Both the Japanese and Swiss currencies tend to be bought as safe-havens during times of uncertainty.

The stood at 7.0691 per dollar, close to its weakest level since Oct. 18.

Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 – http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/GLOBAL-CURRENCIES-PERFORMANCE/0100301V041/index.html

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said that while staff-level talks are continuing with Chinese officials, no high-level meetings are scheduled.

If there is no deal or substantial progress in talks before Dec. 15, tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys, will take effect, Ross told CNBC on Tuesday.

The () against a basket of six major currencies was quoted at 97.737, having skidded to a one-month low.

Sterling , meanwhile, benefited from the dollar’s slide and rose to $ 1.3014, the highest since mid-May this year.

Trump’s comments on trade so far this week have already caused a major stir.

On Monday, he said he would hit Brazil and Argentina with trade tariffs for “massive devaluation of their currencies”.

The United States then threatened duties of up to 100% on French goods, from champagne to handbags, because of a digital services tax that Washington says harms U.S. tech companies.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Yen gains, yuan down as trade woes, Hong Kong strife sap risk appetite

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration

By Stanley White

TOKYO (Reuters) – The yen rose against the dollar on Thursday after sources close to the White House told Reuters that a U.S.-China trade deal is unlikely this year, shattering investor hopes a partial agreement was imminent and spurring demand for safe havens.

The yuan fell to a three-week low in onshore trade on worries the failure to reach a deal to roll back U.S. tariffs could further harm China’s stuttering economy.

Political tensions between Beijing and Washington were also keeping investors on edge after a source told Reuters that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law two bills intended to support anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has been rocked by months of increasingly violent protest against Chinese rule of the former British colony. The passage of a U.S. law supporting the protesters is bound to anger Beijing and potentially undermine efforts to secure a trade deal.

“Friction between the United States and China is starting to spread from trade to questions about China’s human rights,” said Tsutomu Soma, general manager of fixed income business solutions at SBI Securities Co in Tokyo.

“This is the perfect opportunity to book some profits and unwind some risk-on trades, which is supportive for the yen and government bonds.”

The yen rose 0.15% to 108.46 per dollar on Thursday.

The Japanese currency briefly pared gains after Bloomberg reported Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as saying he is cautiously optimistic about a preliminary trade deal. Markets, however, turned around again when it became clear the comments were made on Wednesday night in Beijing.

The dollar was steady at $ 1.1077 versus the euro () and was quoted at $ 1.2931 against the British pound .

Completion of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House told Reuters on Wednesday, as Beijing presses for more extensive tariff rollbacks, and the Trump administration counters with heightened demands of its own.

Trump and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an Oct. 11 news conference that an initial trade deal could take as long as five weeks to ink.

Just over five weeks later, a deal is still elusive, and negotiations may be getting more complicated, trade experts and people briefed on the talks told Reuters.

Washington and Beijing have imposed tariffs on each other’s goods in a bitter dispute over Chinese trade practices that the U.S. government says are unfair.

The tariffs have slowed global trade, raised the risk of recession for some economies, and roiled financial markets.

The next date to watch is Dec. 15, when U.S. tariffs on some $ 156 billion in Chinese goods are scheduled to take effect.

, which like the yen is often bought as a safe-haven during times of uncertainty, tacked on 0.1% to $ 1,473.93 per ounce, underlining investors’ reluctance to take on risk.

In the onshore market, the yuan fell to 7.0450 versus the dollar, the weakest since Nov. 1, before steadying at 7.0400. Offshore, the yuan slipped to 7.0533 per dollar, the lowest since Nov. 5, and then pared its losses.

Besides the tariff row, Hong Kong has emerged as another flashpoint that some traders say could further worsen U.S.-China relations.

What started as a protest against a proposed China extradition bill has widened into almost daily battles with the Hong Kong police over a perceived erosion of liberties under Chinese rule. The police have come under criticism after one protestor was shot at close range.

Beijing denies meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs and blames foreign governments for fuelling the unrest.

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