Dollar Soft, Yuan Rallies

The US dollar is firm against the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc but is winding down the week on a softer note against the euro, sterling and the dollar-bloc currencies. Most emerging market currencies are firmer too in an environment in which investor anxiety levels appear to have eased. After initially slipping in Asia to new lows here in September near $1.2642, the euro recovered with the help of scatter talk of official or quasi-official interest. Euro demand on the crosses, especially the yen and Swiss franc was also reported. The dollar traded as high as JPY84.30 in Asia, the upper end of this week’s range, but encountered good offers. China is very much part of today’s foreign exchange story. The yuan appreciated 0.2% against the dollar, the most since late June and the reference rate for the yuan was the strongest in two years.

Equity markets in Asia were mostly higher, but many were closed for holidays today, including India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index edged 0.3% higher, which was the average daily gain over the course of the week. The Nikkei’s 1.55% advance led region, perhaps encouraged by the strong upward revision in Q2 GDP to 1.5% from 0.4% (which was largely anticipated).

Of the markets that were open, Australia was the only market to have declined. The nearly 0.5% fall reflected a broad sell-off of all sectors but utilities. Losses in the tech, oil/gas and health care were the weakest sectors. Europeans bourses are mostly lower. Heightened concern about the capital needs of some banks may be contributing to the profit-taking and offsetting a strong tech sector.
Dollar Soft, Yuan Rallies Dollar Soft, Yuan Rallies Reviewed by Marc Chandler on September 10, 2010 Rating: 5
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