The dollar stood tall on Tuesday, pushing to a one-month high against the yen as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen would stick to her positive economic outlook at an event later in the global session. The Fed chair is scheduled to take part in a discussion on global economic issues at London’s Royal Academy, and is seen likely to stick to her positive views on the U.S. economy despite a recent batch of weak U.S. economic data, supporting the Fed’s forecast of raising interest rates once more this year. “Hedge funds are already selling yen this week, and positive comments from Yellen could give them an excuse to sell even more,” said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.
That selling helped the dollar touch a fresh one-month high of 111.95 yen early on Tuesday. It was last up 0.1 percent at 111.94 yen. But U.S. data on Monday gave investors reason to be cautious about buying the dollar. New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods unexpectedly fell in May and shipments also declined, suggesting a loss of momentum in the manufacturing sector halfway through the second quarter.
After the weak data raised concerns about falling inflation and lacklustre growth, long-dated U.S. Treasury bond yields dropped to seven-month lows and the yield curve between five-year notes and 30-year bonds fell to its flattest level since 2007. Still, Fed officials doggedly stuck to their hawkish scripts. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Monday that a recent slowdown in U.S. inflation was mainly due to one-off factors and should not prevent further increases in rates.
Financial conditions have loosened in the past year despite the Fed raising interest rates three times since December, which is another reason to continue tightening, New York Fed President William Dudley said in remarks published on Monday. The euro licked its wounds after contrastingly dovish comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. It was last steady on the day at $1.1180, above its overnight low of $1.1172.
Draghi’s remarks in a town-hall session with university students in Lisbon included saying that super low rates create jobs, foster growth and benefit borrowers. He rejected calls to exit super easy monetary policy quickly, arguing that premature tightening would lead to a fresh recession and more inequality. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was flat on the day at 97.432 .