Dollar weakens further in Asia

AFP , Tuesday 1 Sep 2015

The dollar lost ground for a second day Tuesday in line with a fall in Asian shares, as concerns about the global economy clouded the outlook for a long-awaited US rate rise.

In Tokyo afternoon trade, the dollar weakened to 120.39 yen from 121.24 yen late Monday in New York.

The euro was mixed at $1.1287 and 135.91 yen from $1.1213 and 135.95 yen in US trade.

Investors are looking for clues as to when the US Federal Reserve will raise its near-zero interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, after officials gave no clear signal at a weekend conference.

China's shock devaluation of its currency last month, combined with signs of slowing growth in the world's number two economy, have raised more questions about whether the US economy is ready for higher rates.

"Currencies are still taking directional cues from the daily yuan fixing as well as the performance of Chinese equities -- and what that means for risk appetite," Sue Trinh, head of Asia foreign exchange strategy at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.

"Dollar-yen's price action is dragging the dollar down in general."

Speaking at the weekend, Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer acknowledged that the turmoil rooted in China had raised some questions about the health of the world economy, even if US data remain good.

His remarks were taken as a sign the Fed was still considering a rate rise this month, which would tend to boost the dollar, although a fall in Chinese manufacturing data released Tuesday dampened sentiment in Asian trading.

The upcoming August US jobs report, due Friday, will be in focus as the Federal Open Market Committee assesses whether the US economy's improvement is strong enough for an increase.

The key data come two weeks before the FOMC announces its rate decision on September 17.

The dollar was mostly weaker against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It fell to Sg$1.4076 from Sg$1.4130 on Monday, to 46.70 Philippine pesos from 46.78 pesos, and to 1,171.70 South Korean won from 1,182.89 won.

It declined to Tw$32.36 from Tw$32.55, to 35.72 Thai baht from 35.89 baht and to 66.23 Indian rupees from 66.32 rupees, while it rose to 14,085 Indonesian rupiah from 14,029 rupiah.

The Australian dollar eased to 71.18 US cents from 71.54 cents, while the Chinese yuan fetched 18.91 yen against 18.99 yen.

Short link: