* DXY well above 4-month lows but pressured by data, Fed
* Speculators trim net long dollar positions-IMM data
* BOJ tankan survey suggests manufacturers expect stronger
* Dollar index
TOKYO, April 3 The dollar started the week on
the back foot on Monday as some lacklustre U.S. data and
comments from Federal Reserve officials gave investors few
catalysts to build on their U.S. currency exposure.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a
basket of six major rivals, was nearly flat at 100.390.
It notched a low of 98.858 last week, its weakest level since
Nov. 11, in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's failure to
pass a healthcare reform bill last month.
"The dollar got some support last week from month-end buying
and came off its lows, but overall its heaviness remains
unchanged," said Mitsuo Imaizumi, Tokyo-based chief
foreign-exchange strategist for Daiwa Securities.
"This week, investors are waiting for Friday's non-farm
payrolls report, and a worse-than-expected reading would push
the dollar down more than a better-than-expected reading would
push it up," he said, underscoring the already cautious
expectations on the pace of further U.S. rate hikes over the
Economists polled by Reuters predict the U.S. economy will
have added 180,000 jobs in March.
The Bank of Japan's "tankan" survey released on Monday
showed that large Japanese manufacturers expected the dollar to
average 108.43 in the fiscal year that began this month.
The tankan also showed that big manufacturers' business
sentiment improved for a second straight quarter to hit a
1-1/2-year high in March, a sign the benefits of an
export-driven economic recovery were broadening.
Investors also parsed comments from U.S. Federal Reserve
officials on Friday, some of which pressured the greenback.
New York Fed President William Dudley, who is seen as one of
the most important members of the Fed's policy-setting
committee, said the central bank could begin trimming bond
portfolio this year - earlier than many economists expect - but
also said that it was in no rush to tighten monetary policy.
Dudley's comments helped pull the greenback away from
Friday's 10-day peak of 112.19 yen. It stood at 111.19
yen on Monday, down 0.2 percent.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed
President Neel Kashkari also said on Friday they expect rate
increases this year, but both were cautious about the U.S.
A spate of mixed U.S. economic data on Friday reinforced the
Fed's view that the economy is growing at a steady but not rapid
pace. Consumer spending barely rose in February amid delays in
the payment of income tax refunds, but inflation marked its
biggest annual increase in nearly five years.
The consumer spending data led some of Wall Street's top
banks to mark down their first quarter growth estimates for the
Speculators reduced bullish bets on the U.S. dollar for the
first time in four weeks in the week ended March 28, according
to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday
and calculations by Reuters.
The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.0676 but remained
not far above Friday's low of $1.0649, its weakest since March
The single currency came under pressure last week after data
showed euro zone inflation slowing. European Central Bank
officials also signalled that the central bank is still very
much in easing mode, after their policy message in April
prompted investors to price in an interest rate hike early next
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)