Investing.com – The yen weakened in Asia on Monday and the
Aussie gained in a fairly light regional data day that saw a weaker
than expected preliminary PMI reading.
USD/JPY changed hands at 112.88, up 0.20%, while AUD/USD changed
hands at 0.7167, up 0.22%%.
In Japan the initial manufacturing PMI for February fell to
50.2, compared with a level of 52.0 seen from 52.3 the previous
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength
against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last
quoted at 96.85, up 0.23%.
On Saturday, China dismissed Chairman Xiao Gang from his post at
the China Securities Regulatory Commission and replaced by Liu
Shiyu, chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China, likely in
response to the failure of the stock market's circuit breaker
The move came as specualtion grows the People's Bank of China
will seek a cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) in the
medium-term as daily short-term open market operations are seen as
inadequate to stabilize market expectations.
Also on the weekend, China announced changes to its consumer
price basket, lowering the weighting for food, tobacco and alcohol
by 3.4 percentage points while increasing that of other goods to
reflect new consumption patterns.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Monday's survey
data on euro zone business activity for indications on the health
of the region's economy.
The week will also bring a look at business sentiment in both
the euro zone and the U.S. and Thursday's report on U.S. durable
goods orders will give investors fresh insight on the strength of
the manufacturing sector.
Last week, the dollar fell against most of the other major
currencies on Friday, while the yen strengthened broadly as fresh
and equities underlined concerns over the outlook for the global
The dollar found broad support as largely upbeat U.S. data
earlier in the week reinforced the view that the Federal Reserve is
likely to say on a monetary tightening path this year.
Data on Friday showed that the U.S. consumer price index rose at
an annual rate of 1.4% in January, ahead of expectations for a 1.3%
Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose by a larger
than forecast 2.2%.
Despite the strong U.S. inflation data, the dollar fell to
one-week lows of 112.29 against the safe haven yen and USD/JPY was
last at 112.66, off 0.53% for the day.
Thursday's minutes of the European Central Bank's January
meeting cemented expectations for further easing next month, saying
growth and inflation risks are on the rise in the euro area.
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