Dollar falls on mixed trade war news

Japanese 10,000 yen and U.S. 100 dollar banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 7, 2017.
Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. dollar was broadly lower on Monday after President Donald Trump said over the weekend that trade talks with China were moving along "very nicely," but that the United States would only make a deal with Beijing if it was right for America.

Trump on Saturday told reporters at Joint Base Andrews that the talks had moved more slowly than he would have liked, but China wanted a deal more than he did.

The president also said there had been incorrect reporting about U.S. willingness to lift tariffs on Chinese goods. Officials from China and the United States last week said the two countries had agreed to roll back tariffs already in place in a "phase one" trade deal.

The dollar index was down 0.18% last at 98.176. Against the euro, the dollar was 0.14% weaker at $1.103.

Mixed trade war headlines have left investors frustrated and confused, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA Corp. "We swing from optimism to pessimism on a daily basis and never feel any the wiser.

"This time it was Trump's turn to pour cold water on suggestions that not only is a deal in the offing, but it comes with the cherry on top that is the removal of tariffs. It's difficult to say who stands to lose more from this deal falling apart but this last-minute jostling does not inspire confidence," Erlam said.

Although the U.S. dollar often operates as a safe-haven asset in moments of political and economic uncertainty, it was lower on Monday against the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, other traditional safe havens.

The dollar was 0.27% weaker against the Japanese currency, last buying 108.98 yen, and 0.36% weaker against the franc, at 0.994 per dollar. Those safe havens were in favor as market participants reacted to the violent response to protests in Hong Kong, where police fired live rounds at protesters, with cable television and other media reporting at least one person being wounded.

The Chinese yuan weakened 0.36% to 7.011 per dollar in offshore trade.

Disappointing economic data also hurt sentiment toward the yuan, as China's producer prices fell the most in more than three years in October, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Saturday, while the country's consumer prices rose at their fastest pace in almost eight years.

The British pound was up 0.84% at $1.288 despite the warning issued by Moody's Investors Service on Friday that it might again cut its rating of Britain's sovereign debt.