Alexa

Greenback ends lower amid technical glitches in Asia

Greenback ends lower amid technical glitches in Asia

The U.S. dollar was lower in afternoon Asian trade yesterday ahead of U.S. data, with technical problems caused by a strong off Taiwan earthquake unsettling an otherwise quiet market, dealers said.
The U.S. dollar fell to 118.71 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 119.12 late Tuesday in New York, where the unit had hovered near the high of 119.36 yen posted on October 25.
The euro firmed to US$1.3109 from US$1.3097 and was almost flat at 156.00 yen from 156.02.
Trading was difficult as Internet connections and telephone lines between Asian countries were unstable after the Taiwan earthquake damaged undersea data cables.
"The quake had an impact on the market because traders weren't able to use the network for a while," said Hidenori Kato, head of foreign exchange sales and trading department at Societe Generale.
"But thankfully it's the end of the year, so once the system is fully up and running again the market will come back to normal since trading has been thin anyway," he added.
The market will look this week at U.S. figures on existing home sales, consumer confidence and industrial activity in the Chicago region.
Market players will watch to see whether recent weak home sales will spill over into the U.S. economy and affect general consumption.
"Although sales this Christmas (in the U.S.) weren't as strong as last year, consumer spending remains far from weak," said Noriaki Ichikawa, forex dealer at Hachijuni Bank. "Even if home sales might show weakness, inflation remains firm and the scenario of a recession has waned," Ichikawa said.
He expected the U.S. dollar to stay at around the 119 yen level for now.
"Even if there will be some positioning, the U.S. dollar-yen level won't move. Rather it's the level of the euro that will draw the market's attention," Ichikawa said.
The European Central Bank is expected to raise rates in the eurozone throughout next year as recent indicators from Germany have shown strength in the eurozone's largest economy.
The yen has been on the backfoot after mixed Japanese economic data released Tuesday further diminished expectations that the Bank of Japan would raise its benchmark interest rate at its two-day policy meeting January 17-18.
The U.S. dollar was mixed against other Asian currencies.
The U.S. dollar fell to 9,045 Indonesian rupiah from 9,065 on Tuesday, to 36.10 Thai baht from 36.40 and to 49.205 Philippine pesos from 49.280. The U.S. unit rose to 930.5 South Korean won from 929.65 and to 1.5387 Singapore dollars from 1.5330.
The currency table is unavailable due to wire damages caused by Tuesday's earthquake.