TOKYO: The dollar edged up against its peers on Thursday, shaking off earlier losses versus the yen, supported by signs that investors’ risk appetite was improving again and optimism on U.S. tax reforms.
The dollar had slipped against the yen after President Donald Trump on Wednesday recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting Washington’s friends and foes alike.
“The impact of the ‘risk off’ moves that weakened the dollar against the yen stemming from the Middle East developments appears to have been limited. It likely served as a pretext for speculators to cover some yen shorts,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.
“We could still see participants try to sell the dollar on upcoming ‘risk off’ events. But the dollar is positioned to absorb much of the selling pressure, with many players poised to buy on dips.”
Dollar/yen on Thursday rose in line with a surge in Tokyo shares, which had slumped the previous day on Middle East concerns.
The U.S. currency rose to a two-week high against a basket of six major currencies as optimism toward U.S. lawmakers’ making progress on the tax legislation continued to grow. Upbeat U.S. private-sector employment data released on Wednesday also provided support.
U.S. Senate Republicans agreed to talks with the House of Representatives on sweeping tax legislation on Wednesday, amid early signs that lawmakers could bridge their differences and agree on a final bill ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline.
The dollar index .DXY was little changed at 93.556 after rising to 93.650 overnight, its highest since Nov. 22.
The euro was steady at $1.1800 EUR= after slipping 0.25 percent overnight, when it hit a two-week low of $1.1780.
Bitcoin briefly soared nearly 3 percent to a new record high of $14,047.40, continuing its surge from below $1,000 at the beginning of the year, despite questions about the cryptocurrency’s real value and worries about a dangerous bubble.
Bitcoin was last up nearly 2 percent at $13,890 at the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP.
The Canadian dollar nursed deep losses suffered overnight after the Bank of Canada held interest rates steady and showed enough caution to dampen expectations for a hike early next year. [CAD/]
The loonie was effectively flat at C$0.9902 per dollar CAD=D4 after retreating 0.8 percent the previous day.
The Australian dollar, hit the previous day by weaker than expected local gross domestic product numbers, extended losses against the buoyant dollar.
The Aussie was 0.2 percent lower at $0.7545 AUD=D4.
The New Zealand dollar fared better after data showed that housing prices in the country jumped 6.4 percent in November.
The kiwi was steady at $0.6879 NZD=D4. —Reuters