Dollar caught in crossfire as Trump talks tough on currencies

Dollar caught in crossfire as Trump talks tough on currencies

1 February 2017, 09:51
Josephine Kreus
The dollar struggled to regain its poise on Wednesday after the Trump administration accused Germany, Japan and China of devaluing their currencies to gain a trade advantage, adding to a risk-off mood that also kept stocks subdued.

The U.S. currency suffered its worst January in three decades after President Donald Trump complained that every "other country lives on devaluation."

Just hours earlier, his top trade adviser said Germany was using a "grossly undervalued" euro to exploit its trading partners. The accusations drew rebuttals from German and Japanese officials, but looked likely to run for some time.

"Suspicions that Washington may increasingly focus on the value of the dollar were catapulted into the limelight," ANZ analysts said in a note.

"The early policy implication is that dollar competitiveness could have a prominent role to play in Trump's 'America First' agenda."

The dollar did recoup some of its losses as the Asian session wore on, edging up to 113.17 yen JPY= from a low of 112.08, though that remained well short of Monday's 115.01 peak.

The euro was firm at $1.0793 EUR=, having been as high as $1.0812 and a long way from Monday's trough of $1.0617. Against a basket of currencies, the dollar .DXY inched up 0.2 percent to 99.703, having ended January with a loss of 2.6 percent.

Japanese investors seemed relieved the yen did not rise even further and nudged the Nikkei .N225 up 0.5 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS added 0.1 percent in a quiet session. [Read more... ] By Wayne Cole | SYDNEY
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