Dollar falls to one-week low vs yen on Fed rate cut bets

Foreign exchange currencies.
Getty Images

The dollar slipped to a one-week low against the Japanese yen on Wednesday, undermined over the China-U.S. trade deal, and the possibility of fresh tariff hostilities with Europe.

Volume was light ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday on Thursday. U.S. economic reports on Wednesday were mixed and did not really change the dollar's trading direction.

Data from payrolls processor ADP showed U.S. companies added 102,000 private sector jobs in June, much higher than the revised 41,000 jobs in May. But the June figure was lower than the 140,000 analysts had forecast.

Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the ADP report suggests the deterioration in the broader economy has spread to the labor market.

"Even with the U.S.-China trade talks back on track, for now at least, the evidence of a slowdown in employment growth should still be enough to persuade the Federal Reserve to cut rates in either July or September, but expectations of a 50 basis-point cut seem misplaced," he added.

Wednesday's data also showed U.S. weekly jobless claims fell more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 221,000, while the U.S. trade deficit in May widened to $55.5 billion from April's revised $51.2 billion.

In mid-morning trading, the dollar dipped 0.1% against the yen to 107.75, after earlier falling to a one-week low of 107.54 .

The dollar-yen pair has become more sensitive to trade developments. Investors have grown more skeptical about the possibility of a speedy resolution to the trade war, especially given U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that any deal would have to be tilted in favour of the United States. A

gainst a basket of six currencies, the dollar eased from Tuesday's two-week highs to trade little changed on Wednesday at 96.736. The index earlier fell as bond yields extended the previous day's decline, with 10-year yields hitting 2-1/2-year lows below 1.94%.


Expectations have grown that the Fed will embark on its first rate cut in a decade at a policy meeting this month. Markets are assigning a more than a 70% probability of a quarter point rate cut at the next policy meeting.

The euro, meanwhile, was little changed at $1.1283 following a volatile session on Tuesday.

The common currency briefly got a lift on Tuesday after a media report that European Central Bank was in no rush to cut rates at the July meeting. But it later slipped after IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, perceived as a policy dove, was nominated as the next ECB president.