Asian Currencies Gain Ground as Risk Appetite Returns
The dollar gave up some ground Monday morning in Asia as investors piled into stocks, oil and riskier Asian currencies following a thawing of U.S.-China trade tensions over the weekend.
An agreement by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Argentina over the weekend to put on hold any new tariffs for 90 days and intensify trade talks gave new life to riskier markets.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.3% to 96.97 at 11:00PM ET (04:04 AM GMT).
Asian currencies were all trading higher against the dollar, particularly those more heavily affected by commodities. The Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar surged. The NZD/USD pair hit highs not seen since June, up 0.55% to 0.6905. The AUD/USD rose 0.74% to 0.7360.
The USD/JPY pair was down 0.04% to 113.53.
The dollar also gained ground against the Chinese yuan with the USD/CNY adding 0.02% to 6.9601.
Combined with the suspension of trade hostilities, the CNY was affected by the release of the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November which suggested that factory activity has improved marginally. The Caixin PMI was 50.2 for November, beating a forecast of 50.0 and higher than the 50.1 recorded in October. On Friday, the official PMI came in at 50, below expectations.
Despite the positive tone of the Caixin PMI reading, a sub-index that tracks new export orders fell to 47.7, down from 48.8 in October.