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Aussie gains further in Asia, dolla a tad up on yen

8/7/2017, 10:30:52 AMMarket Analysis
Aussie gains further in Asia, dolla a tad up on yen

The Aussie gain further in Asia on Monday and the dollar kept an edge on the yen with construction data for July aiding views in Australia and solid FX reserves in Japan noted.

AUD/USD traded at 0.7945, up 0.20%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 110.74, up 0.04%.

In Asia, the AIG Construction index rose to 60.5 in July from 56.0 in June, a major boost. Japan reported its foreign reserves data for July with figures standing at $1.260 trillion from $1.260 trillion in June.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.11% to 93.27.

Ahead in the week, Friday’s U.S. inflation figures are seen as key as are comments by Fed speakers on interest rate and balance sheet unwinding views.

Last week, the U.S. dollar rallied against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday, bolstered by a strong U.S. jobs report for July and comments by a Trump administration official about tax reform.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for a gain of 183,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%.

The report also showed that average hourly earnings increased by 9 cents or 0.3% last month to $26.36 an hour, the largest monthly increase since October.

Wages increased by 2.5% on a year-over-year basis, matching June’s increase.

The uptick in wage growth indicated that inflationary pressures are firming. Markets believe stronger inflation will enable the Federal Reserve to stick to its plans for a third interest rate hike this year.

The dollar received an additional boost after Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, revived hopes for tax reform in an interview on Bloomberg TV.

The dollar has come under pressure in recent months amid doubts over whether the Fed would raise rates again this year and diminished expectations for tax reform and fiscal stimulus under the Trump administration.