Dollar gains in Asia as market shrugs off NKorea, pound down
The dollar gained strongly in Asia on Monday with the market watching the progress of Donald Trump's first visits abroad as president with a flurry of deals signed in Saudi Arabia in the first stop and shrugging off the latest missile test by North Korea at the weekend.
In Japan, the trade balance surplus came in a weaker than expected ¥482 billion for April, compared with a surplus of ¥521 billion seen. USD/JPY changed hands at 111.57, up 0.28% after the data.
Elsewhere, AUD/USD dipped 0.19% to 0.7447. GBP/USD fell 0.32% to 1.2993 after an opinion poll showed the lead of conservatives cut by half in a Survation telephone poll published on Monday.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.23% to 97.22.
Financial markets in Canada are to remain closed for a holiday.
Last week, the U.S. dollar resumed its decline on Friday, notching its largest weekly loss in nearly a year as political turbulence around the Trump administration continued to dominate market sentiment.
The dollar came under renewed selling pressure following reports that a senior White House adviser is a person of interest in the investigation into alleged Russian interference in November’s presidential election.
The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed a former FBI director as special counsel to investigate possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The appointment of a special counsel comes after Trump fired James Comey, his FBI director who was leading a probe into Russia’s role in the election and reports that he attempted to interfere with the judicial process, leading to talk of possible impeachment.
The dollar has been hard hit by fears that the U.S. political system could become engulfed by crisis, preventing lawmakers from pushing through tax or spending reforms.