Forex – Dollar gains on yen as Trump press conference awaited
The dollar gained against the yen in Asia on Wednesday ahead of a widely-anticipated press conference by President-elect Donald Trump, his first full one since winning the Nov. 8 election. USD/JPY changed hands at 115.94, up 0.15%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7366, down 0.04%. GBP/USD traded at 1.2180, up 0.03%.
The TRump press conference comes as news agencies report that briefing materials prepared for President-elect included information that initially circulated among Trump opponents and was passed to U.S. intelligence agencies making damaging allegations about his dealings with Russians. Trump took to Twitter to deny the reports.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.03% to 101.98. Overnight, the dollar was lower against a basket of the other major currencies on Tuesday, while sterling pulled back from two-month lows hit as investors continued to fret over Brexit. Demand for the greenback continued to be underpinned by expectations for higher interest rates this year. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December and indicated that it expects to hike rates three more times in 2017.
Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren on Monday called for the U.S. central bank to step up the pace of interest rate increases, warning that inflation could overshoot its target if it does not. A selloff in the lira gathered pace after ratings agency Moody’s said Monday that bank profits will be hit by an increase in bad loans this year and warned of a “general worsening” in the investment climate in Turkey.