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FOREX-Dollar steadies after hitting 5-week low, China data in focus
January 13, 2017 / 1:25 AM / 8 months ago

FOREX-Dollar steadies after hitting 5-week low, China data in focus

* Dollar recovers from a 5-week low vs yen

* Dollar index above the lowest level since Dec. 8

* China trade data in focus in Asia

By Yuzuha Oka

TOKYO, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The dollar steadied after hitting a five-week low against the yen and the broader basket of currencies on Friday, after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference had disappointed some investors earlier in the week.

In Asia, Chinese trade data due later this morning could provide a catalyst as markets focus their attention on its large trade surplus with the United States in the wake of Trump’s protectionist rhetoric against China.

The trade surplus in the world’s second-biggest economy is forecast to have grown to $46.50 billion in December, versus November’s $44.61 billion,

The dollar last stood at 114.85 yen, up about 0.2 percent from late U.S. levels after having tumbled to a five-week low of 113.75 yen on Thursday.

On the week, the dollar has lost 1.6 percent so far - its fourth straight week in the red, which would mark it biggest weekly fall since late July if the losses are sustained.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major peers, stood at 101.51 in early Friday trade after having fallen to 100.72 on Thursday, marking the lowest level since Dec. 8.

The index has slipped from a high of 102.950 touched on Wednesday in anticipation that Trump’s first news conference since his Nov. 8 victory would give more detail on new fiscal spending and tax measures to repatriate U.S. corporate capital held overseas.

Instead, dollar bulls were disappointed as the event was dominated by debate over Russian hacking and unsubstantiated claims that he had been caught in a compromising position in Moscow.

Still, some analysts think the dollar could regain momentum as soon as more details of Trump’s stimulus become clearer.

“It is unlikely that the yen strengthens further against the dollar,” Yukio Ishizuki, FX strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. “The U.S. Treasuries yield is expected to rise considering rising U.S. inflation expectations.”

Last week’s U.S. jobs data showed wages rose at the fastest pace since June 2009, fuelling expectations that Trump’s expected fiscal spending and tax cuts could boost U.S. inflation.

The euro traded at $1.0611, having hit a two-week high of $1.0684 on Thursday.

The dollar was last down 0.1 percent against the peso at 21.7665 pesos. The peso broke the 22 peso-per-dollar mark for the first time on Wednesday after Trump said U.S. auto companies would face a high tax for products made south of the border.

Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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