Miércoles, 22 Agosto, 2018

Dollar down, gold gains on global risks; US stocks inch up

Florent Macron Florent Joly is one of many who came out to support the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron
Malita Javier | 18 Abril, 2017, 03:16

Asian equities were mostly lower in Monday trade, with the dollar sinking against the yen, as investors focused on Korean Peninsula tensions and Chinese economic data due later in the morning.

That dwarfed any relief for market players after the U.S. Treasury department did not name China as a currency manipulator, avoiding an all-out confrontation on currencies between the world's two largest economies.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 percent to 18,354.27, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 2,144.48.

China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, a tad above economists' forecast of 6.8 percent.

That would be above the target of around 6.5 percent Beijing has set for this year's growth, but many analysts expect momentum to fade slowly in coming months.

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Downside to the USA dollar and government bond yields came from President Donald Trump's verbal intervention on Thursday, when he told the Wall Street Journal the dollar was "getting too strong" and that he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low. Data on Friday showed USA retail sales fell for a second straight month in March and consumer prices dropped for the first time in just over a year.

The yield had risen above 2.6 percent in December and again in March, from around 1.85 percent before the US presidential election, on expectations of Trump's stimulus.

"We have some U.S. economic data later in the day, which ordinarily would likely have some affect on U.S. yields and the dollar, but with U.S. bond markets closed, it might not have much impact", said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.

But the semi-annual U.S. Treasury currency report maintained the six countries on a "monitoring list" - China, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and Switzerland.

The contract fell to a near five-month low of 215.5 yen on Thursday.

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The dollar has given up three quarters of the gains it had made after the Trump's surprise election victory had boosted expectations that his stimulus and deregulation plans would buoy USA growth and inflation.

The euro stood at $1.0622, little moved so far, and not far from a one-month low of $1.0570 touched last Monday, with focus on the French presidential election.

Polls have suggested Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron will emerge the winners of the April 23 first round against leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon and conservative Francois Fillon, with Macron seen winning the May 7 run-off.

"(A) fter the share market gains of the a year ago, global. shares are a bit vulnerable to a correction and military conflict with North Korea may be a trigger.

The tougher stance taken by U.S. President Donald Trump with North Korea has increased regional tensions, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un rebuffing admonitions from China and proceeding with missile tests.

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Their tour comes as Democrats continue to take stock of their shocking 2016 defeat and strategize on reforming the party. But it is also true that he ran 20 points better than the - than the Democratic candidate for president did in Kansas.

The Turkish lira rallied over 2 percent against the greenback after President Tayyip Erdogan won a narrow victory in a referendum granting him sweeping powers.

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