Dol­lar strug­gles in Asia af­ter lift from US re­tail sales


The dol­lar dipped against the yen and euro Fri­day af­ter get­ting a lift from a solid US re­tail sales re­port that boosted ex­pec­ta­tions for a Fed­eral Re­serve rate hike as early as next month.

In Tokyo, the green­back changed hands at 124.38 yen, eas­ing from 124.43 yen in US trad­ing, while the euro fell on dis­ap­point­ing growth fig­ures from the EU s top economies.

The sin­gle cur­rency dipped to $1.1150 from $1.1152, and 138.63 yen against 138.77 yen, af­ter weak GDP data from France and Ger­many raised fresh con­cerns about the bloc s eco­nomic health. But in the US, fresh data Thurs­day show­ing re­tail sales rose 0.6 per­cent in July from June, above an­a­lyst es­ti­mates, added to the bright­en­ing out­look for the world s top econ­omy. The Fed has said im­prov­ing eco­nomic data will be key to de­ter­min­ing when it raises rates for the first time in al­most a decade, widely ex­pected be­tween Septem­ber and De­cem­ber.

On Fri­day, China s cen­tral bank also re­as­sured the mar­kets by set­ting its rate against the dol­lar marginally higher than the pre­vi­ous day s close af­ter three days of falls. The move, cou­pled with com­ments from bank of­fi­cials, soothed ner­vous in­vestors af­ter a sur­prise de­val­u­a­tion of the yuan on Tues­day and two sub­se­quent cuts roiled fi­nan­cial mar­kets.

"To­day s fix­ing is in line with what they promised to do, which is to take ac­count (of) the pre­vi­ous day s close," Dennis Tan, a cur­rency strate­gist at Bar­clays in Sin­ga­pore, told Bloomberg News. "It s quite clear from yesterday s PBoC press con­fer­ence that it is not their main in­ten­tion to de­pre­ci­ate the yuan sharply. They re OK with a mod­est de­pre­ci­a­tion but they don t want the de­pre­ci­a­tion to get out of hand." But Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies fought to sus­tain a re­cov­ery from the worst two-day rout in al­most 20 years af­ter over fears of the long-term im­pact of a fall in the yuan. The dol­lar rose to Sg$1.4025 from Sg$1.3971 on Thurs­day, to 46.25 Philip­pine pe­sos from 46.18 pe­sos, to 35.26 Thai baht from 35.18 baht, and to 1,177.32 South Korean won from 1,174.55 won.

The green­back also ad­vanced to 65.14 In­dian ru­pees from 65.11 ru­pees, while it was flat at Tw$32.20 and 13,766 In­done­sian ru­piah.

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