Dollar hovers near month high on U.S. yield bounce, shaky pound

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The dollar held near a one-month high against its peers on Wednesday, supported by a rebound in U.S. government bond yields and weakness of the pound as its battering from uncertainty about Brexit continued.

The greenback was lifted as long-term U.S. Treasury yields bounced from three-month lows.

The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies stood at 97.387 after rising overnight to 97.545, its highest since Nov. 13.

“In addition to higher Treasury yields, the weakening pound is providing a key boost to the dollar,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior forex strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.

“With Brexit talks seemingly headed towards a dead end, this has been a golden opportunity for speculative market players to short the pound.”

Sterling took a big hit at the start of this week after British Prime Minister Theresa May delayed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

The pound suffered further on Tuesday on media reports that May’s parliamentary colleagues believed they had sufficient numbers to mount a no-confidence vote in her leadership.

The British currency crawled up 0.15 percent to $1.2505 after dropping to $1.2480 overnight, its weakest since April 2017. The currency has lost 1.7 percent this week.

The euro was a shade higher at $1.1330 after shedding 0.3 percent the previous day.

China’s yuan was firmer in offshore trade at 6.886 to the dollar, extending gains from the previous day.

The yuan gained on Tuesday on news that Beijing and Washington were discussing the next steps in their trade talks.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

The Australian dollar, a gauge of broader risk sentiment, was up 0.2 percent at $0.7217.

The 10-year Treasury note yield inched up to 2.886 percent, continuing to pull back from recent lows.

The yield had dropped to a three-month low of 2.825 percent at the start of the week, with dovish comments from Federal Reserve officials and soft U.S. data further reinforcing views of a slowdown in the tightening cycle.

“The Fed has managed to normalise monetary policy for the past five years. But next year, it may no longer be able to ignore economic turbulence both at home and abroad,” said Daisuke Karakama, chief market economist at Mizuho Bank.

“Treasury yields and the dollar could thus be headed for a downtrend in 2019, with 100 yen per dollar coming in sight.”

On Wednesday, the dollar was steady at 113.435 after touching a one-week peak of 113.52.

Source: Reuters

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