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Dollar Little Changed; China-U.S. Trade Talks in Focus

2019-1-18 18:26:12Market Analysis
 Dollar Little Changed; China-U.S. Trade Talks in Focus

The U.S. dollar was little changed on Friday in Asia after trading slightly higher earlier in the day amid optimism of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 95.732 by 12:01 AM ET (05:01 GMT), up 0.02%.

Citing people with knowledge to the matter, the Wall Street Journal said U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is a proponent of easing tariffs on Chinese products.

The report sent U.S. stocks higher overnight, even after the Treasury Department quickly denied the news.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. later this month for another round of trade talks.

Separately, jobless claims data showed on Thursday that the U.S. government shutdown has yet to have an impact on jobs.

The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. hit its lowest level in five weeks, despite 27 days of a government shutdown which has furloughed 800,000 federal workers.

Meanwhile, the Chinese yuan was near flat against the U.S. dollar, as the USD/CNY pair traded at 6.7768, up 0.06%.

China’s statistics bureau on Friday revised down its final 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 6.8% from the previous 6.9%.

The revision came ahead of Monday’s release of preliminary GDP growth figures for the latest quarter and full-year 2018.

Sources have told Reuters earlier that Beijing is considering setting a lower economic growth target of 6-6.5% in 2019.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.7665 on Friday vs the previous day's fix of 6.7592.

Elsewhere, the USD/JPY pair was up 0.16% to 109.39.

The AUD/USD pair was unchanged at 0.7190.