TOKYO: The U.S. dollar edged up against major currencies on Monday, after posting its biggest weekly gain in more than a month, as traders closed short positions ahead of a much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy meeting.
The greenback gained 0.1per cent to US$1.20980 against the euro in Asia, after touching an almost one-month top of US$1.2093 in the previous session.
The yen fell 0.1per cent to 109.750 per dollar, after weakening to 109.840 on Friday for the first time since June 4.
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six rivals, was 0.1per cent stronger at 90.564. It reached a high of 90.612 on Friday, finishing the week with a 0.4per cent gain.
“The dollar repositioning shows some nerves heading into the FOMC policy update,” NAB strategist Jason Wong wrote in a note, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee that will meet over two days to Wednesday.
“Over the past month there appears to have been a growing chorus that the time to talk about tapering bond purchases had been reached,” Wong added.
Dollar direction has been driven in recent weeks by fluctuating bets on whether inflationary pressure from an economic reopening could force the FOMC into an earlier tapering of currency-depreciating stimulus.
Repeated comments by policy makers that inflation would be transitory have helped calm those jitters, but markets are now expecting new clues from the Fed on the timing of an exit from ultra-easy policy.
Caution ahead of the Fed meeting has pushed a Deutsche Bank gauge of implied currency-market volatility to the lowest since February of last year, dropping around 10per cent since the start of the month.
In the week ended June 8, speculators wound up net dollar short positions to the highest in nearly three months at US$18.35 billion.
“While we acknowledge the uncertainty around tapering given the recent noise in data, we think that risks for USD … remain somewhat asymmetric and skewed to the upside, though the pace of appreciation will likely be somewhat contingent on near-term Fed rhetoric,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a research report.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded around US$39,000 after getting an almost 10per cent lift on Sunday, when Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the electric carmaker will resume allowing bitcoin transactions when miners who verify transactions use more renewable energy.
The digital token has fluctuated on either side of US$35,000 over the past month, dipping to near US$31,000 at one point last week. It was at a record high of US$64,895.22 just two months ago.
Rival ether remained stuck around US$2,500, the middle of a narrowing trading range spanning the past month.
Currency bid prices at 0515 GMT
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
US$1.2102 US$1.2109 -0.05per cent -0.95per cent +1.2112 +1.2095
109.7450 109.6600 +0.09per cent +6.26per cent +109.8250 +109.7300
132.81 132.79 +0.02per cent +4.64per cent +132.9100 +132.7500
0.8990 0.8980 +0.11per cent +1.61per cent +0.8991 +0.8978
1.4109 1.4114 -0.02per cent +3.28per cent +1.4118 +1.4096
1.2151 1.2170 -0.16per cent -4.58per cent +1.2168 +1.2149
0.7710 0.7707 +0.05per cent +0.24per cent +0.7712 +0.7694
Dollar/Dollar 0.7144 0.7128 +0.23per cent -0.52per cent +0.7146 +0.7130
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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