Dollar edges up as US yields resume rise

The dollar pared earlier losses against the yen and euro and edged up on Wednesday, as U.S. debt yields resumed their ascent.

The greenback’s gains were limited, however, as traders braced for a meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) later in the day which could spark volatility in financial markets and weigh on the U.S. currency.

The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 112.690 yen after going as low as 112.060.

It surged to 113.340 overnight on robust revised U.S. GDP data but had failed to sustain the gains as U.S. yields, a key driver of the dollar recently, initially pulled back from 16-month highs before rising in Asia on Wednesday.

The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.0632 following a rise to $1.0660. It had gained 0.3 percent overnight.

The greenback has rallied 7 percent versus the yen and risen 3 percent against the euro in November. It was boosted as Donald Trump’s U.S. election win drove Treasury yields higher on expectations for stepped up fiscal spending, higher inflation and a faster pace of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.

Tuesday’s data saw the U.S. third quarter GDP revised up and November consumer confidence come in stronger than expected.

“These improvements confirm that a rate hike is coming on December 14th,” wrote Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management.

“They also boost the chance of further tightening in 2017 but with Fed fund futures only pricing in a 30 percent chance of another hike by May, investors see a hike followed by a long pause from the Fed, which is the biggest problem for the dollar,” Lien said.

Indeed, the dollar index was up 0.2 percent at 101.14 but some distance from a 13-1/2-year high of 102.05 reached last Thursday.

“U.S. economic reports may be important but the main focus will be on OPEC and the Canadian dollar,” Lien said.

Many analysts believe OPEC will cobble together a deal to cut some production at its meeting in Vienna starting at 1000 GMT. But doubts still lingered as Iran and Iraq, OPEC’s second- and third-largest producers, have resisted pressure from the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia to curtail output.

Crude oil prices sank on Tuesday on nervousness ahead of the OPEC meeting. A further price decline could hurt risk sentiment, which would benefit safe-havens such as the yen, and also further push down bond yields to the dollar’s disadvantage.

The Canadian dollar last stood a touch firmer at C$1.3451 per dollar, having moved between a 9-month low of C$1.3589 and C$1.3425 in November.

Some expect the dollar to slow its gains after its recent sharp rally. The greenback has advanced from around 105 yen at the start of the month to near 114 yen late last week – its largest monthly rise since February 2009 – and the euro has posted its biggest monthly decline in a year versus the U.S. currency.

“OPEC meeting or not, an adjustment phase in the dollar is inevitable considering the pace and scope of its recent rise,” said Makoto Noji, senior strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo

The market will also look to U.S. data for catalysts later in the day, including the November ADP employment report, November Chicago purchasing managers’ index (PMI) and October pending home sales.

The Australian dollar was down 0.2 percent at $0.7465. A rise in commodity prices and domestic yields helped buoy the antipodean currencies this week, during which the Aussie and New Zealand dollars added 0.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

The pound slipped 0.2 percent to $1.2474 after rising 0.6 percent on Tuesday, aided in part after data showed lending to Britons expanded last month at the fastest annual pace in 11 years, while mortgage approvals were stronger than expected.

Source: Reuters