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Dollar Index Passes 101 for First Time in Two Years As Yen Slide Continues

Clayton Lee

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration shows Japanese 10,000 yen notes featuring a portrait of Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founding father of modern Japan, August 2, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
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By Joice Alves

LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar rose on Tuesday to a fresh 20-year high against the Japanese yen and tested a two-year peak against the euro, supported by high U.S. Treasury yields.

Ten-year U.S. inflation-linked bond yields are within touching distance of turning positive for the first time in two years.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other currencies, climbed past 101 for the first time in more than two years. It was flat at 100.84 at 1155 GMT.

The dollar’s gains have been most striking against the yen, climbing to its highest level of 128.46 yen against the Japanese currency since May 2002. It was last up 1.3% at 128.20 yen.

The dollar has risen 5.4% on the yen so far this month, which would be its second-biggest monthly percentage gain since 2016 after last month’s 5.8%.

The greenback rose to its highest of 0.9492 since July 2020 against the Swiss franc.

The euro recovered some grounds, trading 0.1% higher against the dollar at $1.07935, but stayed just off last week’s two-year low of $1.0756.

“Policy divergence between the Fed and low-yielding central banks (European Central Bank, Bank of Japan) continues to argue in favour of USD strength,” said Francesco Pesole, FX Strategist at ING.

Expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will tighten its monetary policy have continued to provide support to the dollar.

U.S. inflation is “far too high”, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Monday as he repeated his case for increasing interest rates to 3.5% by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the BoJ has been intervening to keep the yield on Japanese 10-year government bonds around 0% and no higher than 0.25%.

Many investors are betting the yen has further to fall. The latest CFTC data for the week ending April 12 shows net short yen positions are the largest in three and a half years.

Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki made the most explicit warning against the yen’s recent slump on Tuesday, saying the damage to the economy from a weakening currency at present is greater than the benefits from it.

Elsewhere, sterling was flat at $1.3019, in sight of its 17-month low against the dollar of $1.2973, hit last week.

European currencies weren’t helped by the latest fighting in Ukraine.

The Australian dollar briefly rose to $0.740 from Monday’s one-month low, given some support by minutes published Tuesday from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s April policy meeting, which suggested the central bank was edging closer to raising interest rates for the first time in more than a decade.

Bitcoin also managed to find its feet, trading around $40,800 after hitting a one-month low of $38,547 on Monday.

Dollar climbs to fresh 20-year high on yen, tests 2-year peak on euro

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Original Article: investing.com

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U.S. Senate Committee Backs Biden Nominee to Be Ukraine Ambassador

Clayton Lee

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bridget Brink, nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testifies at her Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next ambassador to Ukraine, veteran diplomat Bridget Brink, and planned to push for her quick confirmation by the full Senate.

Brink is expected to easily win confirmation to a crucial position that has been vacant for three years.

The committee held Brink’s confirmation hearing on May 10, just two weeks after Biden sent her name to the Senate. The quick action underscored the desire from both Biden’s Democrats and Republicans to send an ambassador to support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as he faces Russia’s invasion.

The Senate is expected later this week to approve nearly $40 billion in military and humanitarian support for Kyiv.

A Michigan native who speaks Russian, Brink is currently U.S. ambassador to Slovakia. She has been a career diplomat for 25 years and has worked in Uzbekistan and Georgia as well as in several senior positions across the State Department and White House National Security Council.

Brink was confirmed by unanimous voice vote in 2019, when former Republican President Donald Trump nominated her for the position in Bratislava.

U.S. Senate committee backs Biden nominee to be Ukraine ambassador

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Article: investing.com

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Japan’s Trade Gap Widens As Import Costs Surge on Supply Pressures

Clayton Lee

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A cargo ship and containers are seen at an industrial port in Tokyo, Japan, February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s exports logged a third straight month of double-digit gains in April led by U.S. demand, but surging global commodity costs inflated the country’s import bill to a record, adding to worries about the rising cost of living.

Shoring up the prospects of a private demand-led recovery, however, was a gauge of capital expenditure that posted its first monthly gain in three months.

The mixed data on Thursday followed the yen’s falls to two-decade lows beyond 131 to the dollar earlier in May, which stoked fears of worsening terms of trade and added financial burdens for the resource-poor Japanese economy as import costs soar.

A weak yen, once considered a boon to the export-led economy, is now having less of an impact as shipments grow smaller, given the ongoing shift by Japanese manufacturers to offshore production.

Japan’s exports rose 12.5% in April from a year earlier, Ministry of Finance data showed, led by U.S.-bound shipments of cars and undershooting a 13.8% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll. It followed a 14.7% rise in March.

Imports rose 28.2% in the year to April, versus the median estimate for a 35.0% increase, as a weaker yen helped boost already surging global commodity prices.

That resulted in a trade deficit of 839.2 billion yen ($6.54 billion), narrower than the median estimate for a 1.150 trillion yen shortfall but posting a ninth straight month in the red.

Analysts have warned of the risks of prolonged cost-push inflation to the fragile economy with external factors, not domestic demand, pushing import bills higher.

Separate data showed on Thursday Japan’s core machinery orders rose 7.1% in March from the previous month, versus a 3.7% increase expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

The volatile data series, regarded as a leading gauge of capital expenditure in the coming six to nine months, provided a glimmer of hope for a domestic demand-led recovery.

Japan’s economy shrank for the first time in two quarters in the January-March period as COVID-19 curbs hit the service sector and surging commodity prices created new pressures.

($1 = 128.3600 yen)

Japan’s trade gap widens as import costs surge on supply pressures

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Barclays Appoints Hossein Zaimi As Asia Pacific Markets Head

Clayton Lee

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A branch of Barclays Bank is seen, in London, Britain, February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Barclays (LON:BARC) said on Thursday Hossein Zaimi had been appointed as its head of markets for Asia Pacific and would join the bank after a long career at rival HSBC

Zaimi will remain based in Hong Kong and report to Adeel Khan and Stephen Dainton, co-heads of Barclays global markets business and Jaideep Khanna, the bank’s head of Asia Pacific, a statement said.

Zaimi spent more than 17 years at HSBC and was most recently the global head of equities and global co-head of securities financing.

Barclays appoints Hossein Zaimi as Asia Pacific markets head

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