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17.02.2011 18:06

American focus: dollar remains under pressure

The dollar dropped the most in seven trading days against the yen as initial unemployment-benefit claims rose more than estimated last week and two-year Treasury yields reached the lowest level in more than a week, damping the appeal of dollar-denominated assets.


Yields on the U.S. two-year note fell as much as six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 0.76%, the lowest intraday level since Feb 8. Ten-year note yields fell as much as seven basis points to 3.55%, the lowest since Feb. 4.
Jobless claims rose to 410,000 in the week ended Feb. 12, exceeding the 400,000 median forecast, Labor Department data showed today in Washington.
The U.S. consumer price index increased 0.4% for a second month, exceeding the 0.3% median estimate of economists, another Labor Department report showed.
Federal Reserve officials differed last month over whether more signs of strength in the U.S. recovery would warrant reducing or slowing record monetary stimulus even as they affirmed disappointment with job growth, according to meeting minutes released yesterday. The Fed has held its key interest rate at zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008 and is buying $600 billion of Treasuries in its latest round of a tactic called quantitative easing.
“You want to see data that suggests shifts in monetary policy views, and CPI was in the right direction but nothing that gets the Fed off its current stance,” said Sacha Tihanyi, a currency strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto. “The U.S. dollar has been under pressure for the past 24 hours.”
The Swiss franc gained versus all of its 16 most-traded peers and the yen rose against most as Iranian state-run television said the nation will send two warships through the Suez Canal, adding to the refuge appeal of the currencies.

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