Dollar gains against the yen amid Iran uncertainty

The US currency was lifted by the surge in oil prices

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Dollar note is seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo.   REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

The greenback also gained on the euro as concerns about Italian political turmoil hurt the common currency.

The dollar was 0.45 per cent up at ¥109.605 after racing to 109.640, its highest since May 3.

The US currency was lifted as long-term Treasury yields climbed to two-week peaks with crude oil prices surging more than 2 per cent to their highest since November 2014.

“The dollar is firmer overall, particularly against the yen, stirred once again in the aftermath of President Trump’s decisions with US yields rising and oil on the move,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager of State Street.

“Opinion seems divided among market players on how far higher US yields can go, so the dollar could be in for turbulence going forward.”

The 10-year Treasury note yield was about 2 basis points higher at 2.991 per cent. A rise above 3.035 scaled on April 25 would take it to its highest since early 2014.

Mr Trump pulled the United States out of an international nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies.

The euro lost 0.15 per cent to $1.1847 after sliding as low as $1.1838 overnight, its weakest since December 22.

The euro, already under pressure from weak economic indicators and widening US-euro zone interest rate differentials, was also hit by political developments in Italy.


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Sentiment towards the euro cooled after Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s call to bickering political parties to rally behind a “neutral government” were met with immediate opposition and raised the prospect of elections being held as early as July.

“The dollar is in a firm position to gain against its European peers as rhetoric from central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England is perceived to have turned dovish,” said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

The euro was 0.25 per cent higher at ¥129.800 after plumbing a six-week low of 129.240 on Tuesday. It was on track to end a seven-day losing run.

Sterling traded at $1.3542 following a decline to a four-month low of $1.3485 overnight.

The pound has fallen heavily in recent weeks on expectations the BoE would not, as earlier believed, tighten monetary policy because of a relatively weak economy and as investors piled into a rallying dollar.

The Australian dollar extended its overnight slide to touch an 11-month low of $0.7428.

Pressured by the dollar's broad strength, the Aussie has fallen despite an upbeat budget from the country's government.