Dollar Down Against Yen As US Tax Bill Struggles, Caixin PMI Noted
The dollar fell against the yen in Asia on Friday after Senate Republicans delayed voting on their tax bill as a setback forced them to patch up the plan only hours before a planned final vote and a manufacturing survey from China was downbeat.
The bill will be reworked and roll call votes are set for 11 a.m. on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a fiscal "trigger," important to winning deficit-wary Sen. Bob Corker's support for the GOP plan, will not work under Senate rules.
China's manufacturing activity fell in November to the weakest pace in five months as input costs remained with the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index down to 50.8 from 51.0 in October.
By contrast the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) released on Thursday stood at 51.8 in November, compared with 51.6 in October.
Earlier, Japan reported household spending for October fell 2.0%, compared with a 1.4% decline expected on month and was flat, compared to a 0.4% dip expected on year. National core CPI rose 0.8% as expected and national CPI gained 0.2% as seen. The unemployment rate held steady at 2.8%.
The manufacturing PMI for November in Japan came in at 53.6, missing the with a 53.8 level expected.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.06% to 92.91.
Overnight, the dollar pared some of its losses against a basket of major currencies on Thursday amid signs that the recent slowdown in inflation could be transitory, strengthening the Federal Reserve's case to adopt a more aggressive monetary policy tightening path.
The dollar recovered some of its early session losses following a raft of data showing an improvement in manufacturing and the labor market, while the trend of slowing inflation subsided.
The Core Price Consumer Expenditure (PCE) Index – the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation – rose 1.4% in October year-on-year, compared to a 1.3% rise in the previous month, while September inflation was revised upward to 1.4% from 1.3%.
On the jobs data front, number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended Nov. 25, fell by 2,000 to 238,000.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.3% in line with economists’ expectations.
The upbeat inflation report supported the Fed’s view that the slowdown in inflation was transitory, lifting expectations for more aggressive monetary policy tightening in 2018.
Sterling, meanwhile, continued to limit gains in the dollar amid Brexit-related positive commentary.