Asian currencies firmer footing, Yen slides
The US dollar clawed back some of its losses against Asian currencies on Friday, as investors shrugged off a dovish tone from US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and any political concerns. Still, Asian currencies generally continued to gain ground.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.04% to 95.52.
The Chinese yuan continued to gain ground against the USD. The People's Bank of China has strengthened the reference rate around which the CNY is allowed to trade every day this week. At mid-morning the USD/CNY pair was down 0.03% to CNY6.7818.
China reported a surprise jump in both exports and imports on Thursday. With stronger global demand lifting exports 11.3% year-on-year, up from 8.7% growth in May. Imports rose 17.2%.
The dollar was also down against the Korean won by 0.03% in the morning to KRW1,136.
The greenback was also falling against the Australian dollar by 0.12% to AUS1.2921. The Aussie dollar, which often acts as a proxy for the Chinese yuan, has been supported this by stronger iron and oil prices.
The Japanse yen weakened against the dollar Friday, giving up some early gaing. By mid-morning, it was trading at JPY113.44, losing 0.14% against the greenback. It was the worst performer in Asia. The yen started the year at JPY118.6 to the dollar.
The Malaysian ringgit, which has made significant gains this year against the dollar also gave up a bit of ground in the morning. The USD/MYR pair was up 0.07% to 4.2955 as of midmorning. The ringgit was in focus in part due to its sensitivity to movements in the USD and the fact that, this year, it has hit lows not seen since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.