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THE US dollar started the week on a strong note on the back of the robust labour market, reaffirming two more rate hikes in 2018 coupled with the reignited US-China trade tension after China announced that it would approach the World Trade Organisation for permission to proceed with implementation of sanctions on the US.
THE released of mixed US data during the week left the US dollar on a depreciating bias, with the US dollar index declined 1.1% to trade below 95. The ADP National Employment Report showed US private employers added 169,000 jobs in April, the fewest since January 2014 and far below economists’ forecasts of 200,000.
GIVEN the stimulus measures of the Bank of Japan went unopposed at the G-20 meeting, investors took the opportunity to sell the currency taking the US dollar/yen pair but it failed to break the psychological 100 mark on the back of Dish outbidding Softbank's bid and the extreme dump resulting from the Boston terror attack.
THIS week’s main headline was the unrelenting rise in US 10-year Treasury bond yield. Multiple factors drove the climb, including concerns that inflation would increase sharply, which might induce the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to take a more aggressive policy stance.
DESPITE the Fed chair’s speech on Wednesday stating that the robust US economy could lead to faster rate hikes this year, the Dollar Index barely moved, closing at 101.15. The S&P 500 index fell 0.5% led by declines in financials, banks and healthcare sectors. It was a favourable week for US data as consumer prices and producer prices both inched up to 0.3% m/m in December while retail sales improved to 0.6% m/m. Industrial production had also expanded to 0.8% m/m supported by all major industry groups. Brent oil price fell by 2.3%, closing at US$54.16 on Friday following American Petroleum Institute (API) report showing huge gasoline build and US shale oil.
THE US dollar steadied against most peers but notched new seven-year highs against the pound, hurt by talk from Britain’s central bank governor who reinforced an outlook of low interest rates for a long time yet and moved below 13-year peaks against the Canadian dollar given the loonie’s bearish underlying bias.