Thursday, January 9, 2020

Forex - U.S. Dollar Slips Despite Upbeat Data; Yen Up Amid Middle East Conflict

© Reuters.  © Reuters. - The U.S. dollar gave up some of its gains overnight on Wednesday in Asia following the release of better-than-expected non-manufacturing data.

The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies slipped 0.1% to 96.660 by 11:59 PM ET (03:59 GMT).

ISM nonmanufacturing data for December showed a reading of 55, beating forecasts of 54.5. The services sector is a critical component of the U.S. economy, accounting for roughly 80% of U.S. private-sector gross domestic product (GDP).

The greenback gained 0.3% overnight, but gave up its gains in morning trade in Asia amid growing concerns of Middle East tensions.

On Wednesday, Iran fired a series of rockets at two U.S.-Iraqi airbases as its first response to the killing of General Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. airstrike last week.

Following the attack, Iran vowed to retaliate and said it was assessing 13 possible ways to inflict a “historic nightmare” on America.'

U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the attack in Iraq and was monitoring the situation, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said.

Meanwhile, the Japanese yen rose as it drew some safe-haven demand. The USD/JPY pair traded 0.1% lower to 108.31. The yen jumped to a three-month high against the U.S. dollar earlier in the day.

The AUD/USD pair dropped 0.2% to 0.6869, while the NZD/USD pair was little changed at 0.6641.

The USD/CNY pair was also near flat at 6.9440 as traders awaited more trade-related news. China and the U.S. are expected to sign a phase one trade deal in Washington on Jan. 15.

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