Green­back flat fol­low­ing dis­ap­point­ing US data

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The U.S. dollar was flat against the yen on Fri­day af­ter weak data mud­died the wa­ters over the tim­ing of a U.S. in­ter­est rate hike, while the euro strug­gled on con­cerns about cash-strapped Greece.

In Tokyo, the green­back was quoted at 119.56 yen, slightly up from 119.55 yen in New York but well be­low the 120.10 yen touched ear­lier Thurs­day.

The euro was trad­ing in nar­row range af­ter it strength­ened ahead of a eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters meet­ing as Greece seeks to strike a deal with its in­ter­na­tional credi- tors to avert a de­fault.

The sin­gle cur­rency bought US$1.0790 and 129.01 yen, down from US$1.0823 and 129.39 yen in U.S. trade.

The Fed­eral Re­serve has ruled out rais­ing in­ter­est rates when it meets next week, but pol­i­cy­mak­ers have left the door open to a move in June, largely depend­ing on the state of the world’s top econ­omy.

Of­fi­cial data Thurs­day showed fresh claims for U.S. un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance benefits edged up marginally, while sales of new homes plunged in March af­ter a sharp rise in Fe­bru­ary.

“Since the Fed is data-de­pen­dent, mar­kets will re­act pos­i­tively to good news and neg­a­tively to bad,” said Kazuo Shi­rai, a U.S.-based trader at MUFG Union Bank.

Of­fer­ing up a mea­sure of sup­port for the euro, a poll on Thurs­day showed con­sumer con­fi­dence in Ger­many — Europe’s big­gest econ­omy — was at its high­est since late 2001, as low in­fla­tion buoys house­holds’ in­come ex­pec­ta­tions. How­ever, there were signs of con­cern about the con­stant tug-of-war over Greece.

With Greek gov­ern­ment cof­fers rapidly emp­ty­ing, an­a­lysts warn Ath- ens may have only weeks left be­fore de­fault­ing and pos­si­bly ex­it­ing the eu­ro­zone un­less it reaches a deal with its cred­i­tors to un­lock 7.2 bil­lion eu­ros in re­main­ing bailout loans.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pa­cific cur­ren­cies.

It strength­ened to 32.49 Thai baht from 32.41 baht on Thurs­day, to 12,942.50 In­done­sian ru­piah from 12,930.00 ru­piah, and to 63.38 In­dian ru­pees from 62.92 ru­pees.

It slipped to 44.24 Philip­pine pe­sos from 44.25 pe­sos, to 1,080.35 South Korean won from 1,080.55 won, and to SG$ 1.3405 from SG$1.3456.

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