The dollar wobbled in Asian trading on Monday as some lackluster U.S. data and comments from Federal Reserve officials gave investors few catalysts to build on their U.S. currency exposure. “This week, investors are waiting for Friday’s non-farm payrolls report, and a worse-than-expected reading would push the dollar down more than a better-than-expected reading would push it up,” he said, underscoring the already cautious expectations on the pace of further U.S. rate hikes this year. Economists polled by Reuters predict the U.S. economy will have added 180,000 jobs in March.
The Bank of Japan’s “tankan” survey released on Monday showed that large Japanese manufacturers expected the dollar to average 108.43 in the fiscal year that began this month. The dollar stood at 111.34 yen on Monday, nearly flat on the day and below Friday’s 10-day peak of 112.19 yen.
Today financial markets in Shanghai will be closed for a holiday and later in the U.S. New York Fed President William Dudley, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker are all set to speak.
Investors also analyzing comments from Fed officials on Friday, some of which pressured the greenback. Markets are currently pricing in more than a 50 percent chance that the central bank will hike interest rates at its June meeting, the second of the three increases expected this calendar year.
The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.0685 but remained not far above Friday’s low of $1.0649, its weakest since March 15. The single currency came under pressure last week after data showed euro zone inflation slowing.
The Aussie fell in Asia on Monday on mixed data sets that showed retail sales miss expectations, the manufacturing PMI ease, but home building figures soar. AUD/USD traded at 0.7618, down 0.14% after the data.
The three-day losing streak in the EUR/GBP appears to have come to a halt this Monday morning in Asia. The cross was last seen trading around 0.8513 handle. The UK manufacturing number due later today is expected to show the pace of expansion in the activity ticked higher to 55.1 in March from the Feb figure of 54.6.