August 20, 2018 / 12:32 AM / in a month

Dollar falls ahead of U.S.-China trade talks, on Trump Fed criticism

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The greenback fell on Monday as investors pulled out of the safe-haven currency with optimism rising over upcoming U.S.-China trade talks, and after U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the pace of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hikes.

Bundles of banknotes of U.S. Dollar are pictured at a currency exchange shop in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

The dollar index .DXY, which weighs the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, fell 0.3 percent to a low of 95.83 in the North American session ahead of trade talks between the United States and China, due this week, which investors hope will ease tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Dealers cited speculation that the talks could set the stage for a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. Trade tensions have on the whole been a boon to the dollar, which benefits from geopolitical turmoil as the market seeks out less risky investments.

“The market is long dollars. There’s some caution that this week’s trade talks - U.S.-China and EU and Japanese officials will also be in town - could lead to some positive headlines. And if so, some of the dollar longs might get pressured,” said Daniel Katzive, head of FX strategy North America at BNP Paribas in New York.

The dollar index hit a session low following a Reuters interview with Trump on Monday afternoon in which the president said that he would criticize the Fed if it continued to raise rates, that the central bank should be more accommodating and that he “should be given more help by the Fed.”

The U.S. currency also weakened against the euro as investors unwound risk-off trades made earlier in the day. Concerns that the currency crisis in Turkey could hurt euro zone banks and uncertainty about the Italian government’s planned budget had weighed on the euro.

“In the European session, emerging market tension had the dollar bid, and since then we’ve had a positive open. ... It’s a risk-on session, and the dollar has come off accordingly,” said Greg Anderson, global head of FX strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

Against the U.S. currency, the euro EUR= strengthened 0.34 percent to a daily high of $1.148.

Traders are also preparing for the release of Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes on Wednesday and an annual Jackson Hole symposium for insights into the likely direction of U.S. monetary policy.

On Monday, the lira fell 1.5 percent, pushed lower after S&P Global and Moody’s downgraded the country’s sovereign credit rating further into junk territory.

Reporting by Kate Duguid and Tommy Wilkes; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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