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Dollar Dips In Asia As Markets Await US On Stopgap Spending Bill

1/19/2018, 9:52:21 AMMarket Analysis
Dollar Dips In Asia As Markets Await US On Stopgap Spending Bill

The dollar slipped against the yen on Friday in a light regional data day that sees markets awaiting word on whether Congress and President Rump can keep the US government funded on a stopgap basis.

Following an early evening meeting of conservative leaders, House Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, proclaimed to reporters: "We're in very good shape" for passage on Thursday night to fund the government through Feb. 16 as legislators wrangled over what provisions to include and exclude while Trump has his own views.

USD/JPY changed hands 110.97. down 0.12%, while AUD/USD traded up 0.11% to 0.8008.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted down 0.38% to 90.31.

Overnight, the dollar traded sharply lower against a basket of major currencies amid renewed fears of a US government shutdown prompting traders to pile into safe heaven yen.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was preparing contingency plans for the growing possibility of a government shutdown, Politico reported, citing two Republican sources.

The report sparked risk-off sentiment as traders piled into safe haven currencies like the yen and Swiss franc, adding downward pressure on the greenback.

Investor fears over a government shutdown come as traders mulled over the release of a trio of reports the labor market, housing and manufacturing.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims fell 41,000 to a seasonally adjusted 220,000 for the week ended Jan. 12, the lowest reading in more than 40 years.

The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index fell to a reading of 22.2 from the previous month’s 27.9, while U.S. homebuilding fell 8.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.192 million units in December.

Also adding pressure on the greenback was a rise in both the euro and sterling