March 1, 2019 / 12:52 AM / 5 months ago

FOREX-Dollar near 10-week high vs yen on upbeat U.S. GDP

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019

* Dollar lifted as yields spike on stronger-than-expected US GDP

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered near a 10-week high against the yen on Friday, thanks to a surge in Treasury yields after U.S. gross domestic product data topped expectations.

The greenback was a touch higher at 111.445 yen and within striking distance of 111.495, its strongest level since Dec. 20 brushed overnight.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies stood at 96.222 after grinding out a 0.15 percent gain on Thursday, when it pulled back from a three-week trough of 95.824.

The overnight wobbles in the U.S. currency came as the euro rallied on growing expectations that the European economy may have turned a corner.

But the dollar managed to claw back its losses after data showed U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 percent annualised rate in the fourth quarter, above economists’ forecasts for a 2.3 percent gain.

“The dollar received a clean break as Treasury yields rose in earnest following the robust U.S. GDP data,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“The strong response to the U.S. GDP data shows that the market is currently focused on fundamentals, rather than geopolitical factors.”

The dollar suffered brief dips against the yen, a perceived safe-haven, this week as tensions between India and Pakistan flared and as a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without an agreement.

But the U.S. currency was on track for a 0.70 percent weekly gain against its Japanese peer.

The euro was steady at $1.1369, having slid from a three-week peak of $1.1420 scaled the previous day.

The Australian dollar nudged up 0.1 percent to $0.7099, trimming some of the previous day’s sharp losses.

The Aussie took a hit on Thursday after a disappointing reading on Chinese manufacturing overshadowed a solid report on domestic business investment.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield stood at 2.720 percent after surging to 2.731 percent on Thursday, its highest since Feb. 6. (Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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