Dollar holds weaker in Asia on G20

20 March, 2017

The dollar fell further in Asia with the dollar index dipping below 100 on Monday with concerns over comments made at the weekend at a meeting of finance ministers from leading economies that highlighted a lack of cohesion on global trade policies. Finance ministers from twenty of the world's biggest economies met and warned against competitive devaluations, but failed to agree on keeping global trade free and open. "Germany Finance Minister (Wolfgang) Schauble bemoaned the omission for "resit all forms of protectionism" in the G-20 communique as U.S. Treasury (Steven) Mnuchin preferred to 'reduce excessive global imbalances...promote greater inclusiveness and fairness,'" said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, in a Monday note.Markets in Japan are shut for a holiday. AUD/USD traded at 0.7725, up 0.26%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 112.52, down 0.15% and GBP/USD was quoted at 1.2387, down 0.07%. The People's Bank of China set the yuan mid-point at 6.8998 against the dollar, USD/CNY, on Monday, compared with the previous close of 6.9030.The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.17% to 99.97.Fed speakers, including Chair Janet Yellen, are ahead this week as investors look for more clues on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike and also await data on inflation from the UK and euro zone surveys on business activity as Britain braces for Brexit.Last week, the dollar fell to fresh five-week lows against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at a more gradual rate than some investors had previously anticipated.But the U.S. central bank did not flag any plan to speed up the pace of monetary tightening, with Yellen reiterating that the pace of rate hikes would be gradual.

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