Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Rates play sends dollar to 4-month high vs yen

Devin Neal | 12 July, 2017, 00:36

Japanese shares rose to finish near two-week highs as the dollar hit a four-month high versus the yen, helping bolster exporters' shares.

The U.S. dollar rose against the Taiwan dollar Tuesday, gaining NT$0.008 to close at NT$30.593, as foreign investors moved funds out of the country, giving a boost to the U.S. currency, dealers said. The benchmark 10-year USA yield stood at 2.389 percent in Asian trading, not far from its US close of 2.393 percent on Friday, when it touched a more than eight-week high of 2.398 percent after the jobs report. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.5 percent.

The most crucial remarks will be delivered Wednesday by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

"No doubt the Fed Chairman's tone and assessment of the latest jobs report against the backdrop of more recent market reactions will also be among the key focus", writes Stifel economist Lindsey Piegza on Monday.

European stock markets followed Asia higher, with blue-chip stock markets in London, Paris and Frankfurt up 0.2 to 0.5 per cent in early Monday trade.

"I think the increased hawkishness we have seen from the central banks has led to a fear that we could see a mini-taper tantrum", he said.

The market was looking ahead to Wednesday and Thursday as Yellen will deliver two days of testimony on the USA central bank's semi-annual report on monetary policy and the economy.

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The dollar index, which gauges the greenback against a currency basket, was steady at 96.018.

The Fed on Friday said it expects a "gradual" increase in interest rates (https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/mpr_default.htm) and for balance-sheet normalization to begin this year.

Bank of Japan is not taking any steps to make Yen stronger, experts say!

Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1408 compared to yesterday's $1.1399.

The G-20 meeting over this past weekend in Hamburg, Germany did not create any significant impact on Monday's financial markets.

"We have been emphasising the fundamental weakness of the South African macro story for some time, and believe that market pricing on ZAR (the rand) showed a degree of complacency that in part was explained by low G3 bond yields", analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note.

Oil crept up after sliding on Friday on a report showing U.S. crude production rose last week, just as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high, rekindling concerns about a supply glut.

The report also noted that long-term nominal U.S. Treasury yields have declined and remained quite low by historical standards since the beginning of the year, largely reflecting "declines in inflation compensation" due to soft inflation data.

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