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Trade tensions support dollar, euro dips before elections


Reuters


By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, May 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose to its highest levels in a week against a basket of currencies on Thursday as investors focused on trade war tensions, while the euro was hurt by concerns about next week's European parliamentary elections.

The euro was boosted on Wednesday by reports that U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to delay a decision on imposing tariffs on imported cars and parts by up to six months, avoiding opening yet another front in his global trade battles.

"The major theme is, is there enough room to fight multiple trade wars at once?," said Mark McCormick, North American head of FX strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.

"We had some green shoots of global economic stabilization the last five months and now I think the concern is whether or not renewed trade wars will sap some of that confidence and whether or not that, along with some of the slowdown we're seeing in the U.S. economy, will tip the global economy back into a less stable state," McCormick said.

Criticisms of European Union policy by Italian deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has also made investors nervous ahead of elections in the region.

Salvini said on Wednesday that EU budget rules were "starving the continent" and must be changed, a day after saying Italy should be ready to break them.

"The risk is that we get more populist comments, such as from the Italian Deputy PM. Italy remains one of the factors keeping euro downside risks high," said Credit Agricole FX strategist Manuel Olivieri.

The greenback was also bolstered on Thursday by data that showed U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in April, while a Philadelphia Fed index of business conditions gained in May.

The Australian dollar weakened after data showed that the country's unemployment rate rose to its highest in eight months, cementing views its central bank may be forced to lower borrowing costs soon to stimulate the economy.

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Currency bid prices at 9:20AM (1320 GMT)

Description

RIC

Last

U.S. Close

Previous

Session

Pct Change

YTD Pct

Change

High Bid

Low Bid

Euro/Dollar

EUR=

$1.1186

$1.1200

-0.13%

-2.47%

+1.1225

+1.1185

Dollar/Yen

JPY=

109.7400

109.5800

+0.15%

-0.47%

+109.7900

+109.3400

Euro/Yen

EURJPY=

122.77

122.74

+0.02%

-2.73%

+122.9600

+122.5500

Dollar/Swiss

CHF=

1.0103

1.0087

+0.16%

+2.94%

+1.0106

+1.0074

Sterling/Dollar

GBP=

1.2798

1.2848

-0.39%

+0.32%

+1.2861

+1.2794

Dollar/Canadian

CAD=

1.3426

1.3437

-0.08%

-1.55%

+1.3449

+1.3400

Australian/Dollar

AUD=

0.6910

0.6927

-0.25%

-1.97%

+0.6933

+0.6894

Euro/Swiss

EURCHF=

1.1304

1.1296

+0.07%

+0.44%

+1.1317

+1.1292

Euro/Sterling

EURGBP=

0.8739

0.8721

+0.21%

-2.73%

+0.8749

+0.8715

NZ Dollar/Dollar

NZD=

0.6561

0.6561

+0.00%

-2.32%

+0.6582

+0.6546

Dollar/Norway

NOK=

8.7157

8.7141

+0.02%

+0.89%

+8.7231

+8.6830

Euro/Norway

EURNOK=

9.7512

9.7633

-0.12%

-1.56%

+9.7780

+9.7347

Dollar/Sweden

SEK=

9.6131

9.5991

+0.02%

+7.24%

+9.6166

+9.5780

Euro/Sweden

EURSEK=

10.7550

10.7530

+0.02%

+4.78%

+10.7745

+10.7381






This article appears in: Politics , Stocks , World Markets



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