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Dollar Lower as Investors Cautious Ahead of Trump News Conference

10 Jan 2017 5:32 am
   By Hiroyuki Kachi 

The dollar was sharply lower against the yen and euro in Asian trade on Tuesday, as some investors opted to unwind their bets on a higher dollar ahead of Donald Trump's scheduled news conference.

The greenback nosedived to Y115.20 early in afternoon trade in Asia before regaining a little bit of ground to Y115.44 around 0450 GMT. That compared with Y116.09 late Monday in New York. Meanwhile, the euro strengthened to $1.0609 from $1.0573 late Monday.

The WSJ Dollar Index, a measure of the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.26% at 92.38.

During the morning session, the dollar held steady above the Y116-threshold with buying related to regular commercial trade settlements providing support. But during the Tokyo lunch break, large amounts of dollar sales kicked in and pulled down the greenback.

"I think some were exiting from dollar-long positions as they remain cautious ahead of tomorrow's Donald Trump news conference," said Yuzo Sakai, manager of FX business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow.

Risk appetite wasn't strong coming into Asian trading Tuesday given fresh concerns about Brexit and an overnight slide in oil prices, said Mr. Sakai. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called for a definitive break from the European Union, which many investors believe will hit Britain's trade with its biggest partner.

Investors continued to closely watch comments from U.S. President-elect Mr. Trump ahead of his scheduled "general news conference" on Jan. 11, just days before his inauguration Jan. 20. This would mark his first press conference since winning the November election.

Markets had been betting that Mr. Trump's economic plans would stoke higher inflation in the U.S., causing the Fed to raise rates quicker than previously expected. Higher rates are likely to boost the greenback by making U.S. assets more attractive.

"It's possible [Mr. Trump] will keep talking before his inauguration, but once Mr. Trump becomes president, he'll have to start delivering," said Koji Fukaya, chief executive at FPG Securities.

The dollar could fall to Y110 if investors' expectations for Mr. Trump's likely policies are disappointed by his coming comments or if he expresses concern about the dollar's strength after his inauguration on Jan. 20, said Mr. Fukaya.

"If his extreme remarks are toned down to a more realistic stance, that may be warmly received, though it could also cool expectations," said Mr. Fukaya.

Among other currency trades, the euro was at Y122.48 from Y122.72 late Monday.
Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 23:50 EST / 0450 GMT 
                           Latest       Previous   %Chg    Daily    Daily   %Chg 
Dollar Rates                               Close            High      Low  12/31 
USD/JPY Japan           115.43-44      116.04-05  -0.53   116.22   115.20  -1.34 
EUR/USD Euro            1.0608-11      1.0571-74  +0.35   1.0628   1.0574  +0.86 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2150-52      1.2161-63  -0.09   1.2179   1.2136  -1.57 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0120-24      1.0150-54  -0.30   1.0157   1.0111  -0.66 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3213-18      1.3212-17  +0.01   1.3238   1.3199  -1.68 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7370-74      0.7352-56  +0.24   0.7385   0.7341  +2.36 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.7031-37      0.7012-18  +0.27   0.7048   0.7007  +1.57 
Euro Rate 
EUR/JPY Japan           122.45-49      122.69-73  -0.20   122.92   122.32  -0.51 
Source: Tullett Prebon 

Write to Hiroyuki Kachi at Hiroyuki.Kachi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2017 00:32 ET (05:32 GMT)

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