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FOREX-Dollar hits 4-week high as Syria buoys safe-haven appeal
2013年8月30日 / 晚上6点44分 / 4 年前

FOREX-Dollar hits 4-week high as Syria buoys safe-haven appeal

* Syria conflict continues to haunt market
    * U.N. investigators finish gathering samples in Syria
    * U.S. makes case for limited military action
    * Weak U.S. consumer spending muddles Fed outlook


    By Julie Haviv
    NEW YORK, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar reached a
four-week peak against a basket of major currencies on Friday as
investors sought its safe-haven status on the possibility of a
U.S. military strike on Syria.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 82.064
, after earlier hitting a four-week high of 82.263 as soft
euro zone data hurt the euro and amid worries about Syria.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a broad case for
limited U.S. military action against Syria for its alleged use
of chemical weapons, saying it could not go unpunished for such
a "crime against humanity." 
    "Today's combination of risk aversion (on Syria) and
expectations of Fed tapering next month suggest we will have
continued dollar strength next week," said Camilla Sutton, chief
currency strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.
    "Next week should be quiet leading up to Friday's nonfarm
paryolls report, but the technicals and fundamentals suggest we
have entered a new period of U.S. dollar strength," she said. 
    A team of U.N. investigators has finished gathering samples
and evidence in Syria related to a the suspected chemical
weapons attack that killed hundreds of people in suburbs near
Damascus last week and is packing up to leave, a U.N. spokesman
said on Friday. 
    A U.S. intelligence report disclosed that there was "high
confidence" that Syrian forces had used chemical weapons
multiple times in the last year, including the Aug. 21 attack
outside Damascus. 
    The dollar index was up 0.9 percent on the week, its third
straight weekly gain. After falling for two straight months, the
dollar index gained 0.8 percent in August. 
    Looking ahead, next Friday's nonfarm payrolls report should
be the highlight of the week since the state of the jobs market
is key to Federal Reserve policy. A strong number should affirm
expectations that the Fed will pull back on its monetary
stimulas when it meets later in the month. 
    U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday in
observance of the U.S. Labor Day holiday.
    Friday's U.S. data were soft as well, save for the 
manufacturing index for the Midwest, which saw the index for
prices paid, an inflation signal, rise to its highest since
November. 
    But the 0.1 percent increase in both personal income and
consumption was lower than expected for the month of July. For
many market participants, however, those numbers won't prevent
the Federal Reserve from paring back its stimulus next month,
even if the reduction is at a smaller scale.
    The euro was down 0.2 percent at $1.3212 after
earlier touching a five-week low of $1.3172. The currency
slipped from highs after data showed benign inflation and
elevated unemployment at 12.1 percent. 
    Investors will be wary of buying the euro before next week's
European Central Bank interest rate meeting, where policymakers
are likely to reiterate their pledge that rates will be low for
some time as economic recovery sets in slowly.
    "Euro zone unemployment shows that the real economy is in
dire straits and underlines that the ECB must keep monetary
policy super-accommodative for years to come," said David Brown,
economist at New View Economics.
    The dollar eased 0.2 percent versus the yen to 98.12 
yen, off an intraday high of 98.47 yen. Traders said
dollar-selling by Japanese exporters at month-end helped the
yen.

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