Euro prices firm as Italy concerns ease; dollar holds upper hand on yen

Big 5

Euro prices were supported by signs of stability in Italian politics and the dollar maintained an uptrend against the yen after a strong U.S. jobs report sparked bets of three more U.S. rate hikes by the end of year.

In early Asian trade, the euro traded flat at $1.1698, having reached $1.1745 the previous day, its highest level since May 24.

Since hitting a 10-month low of $1.1510 a week ago, the common currency has been recovering as investors took comfort from the creation of a government in Rome.

The big spending plans of the two anti-establishment parties that make up the government have raised some concerns, but new Economy Minister Giovanni Tria has said that none of the parties want to leave the euro zone and neither does he.

The common currency rose to 128.50 yen, up 3.0 percent from an 11-month low of 124.82 yen touched a week ago.

The dollar traded at 109.83 yen, extending its recovery from a five-week low of 108.115 yen touched on Tuesday.

Strong U.S. employment data published on Friday revived bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three more times this year.

The Fed is almost unanimously expected to raise rates at its policy meeting next week, following up on a rate hike in March.

“The U.S. jobs data was really strong. The Fed could indicate it will raise rates four times this year, including an expected hike in June and one in March,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“That would widen interest rate differentials between U.S. and Japan and should support the dollar against the yen,” he added.

Still, market players cautioned that the U.S. currency could suffer a fresh setback if worries about a trade war between the United States and the rest of the world intensify.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will play host to a summit of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, with six of the seven members outraged at the United States over a slew of recent protectionist moves by President Donald Trump.

The Australian dollar rose 1.05 percent on Monday, its second biggest gain so far this year, to hit a six-week high of $0.76665, thanks in part to surprisingly robust local corporate profits and retail sales data.

It last stood at $0.7650 ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy decision due at 2:30 p.m. local time (0430 GMT). The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark interest rates steady at 1.50 percent.

Source: Reuters