Dollar slips with focus on US, Japan central bank meetings

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The dollar fell Wednesday as hopes for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this month continued to fade, with US and Japanese central bank meetings next week in focus.
Emerging currencies gained as risk appetite returned to regional markets, with the South Korean won up against the greenback for a fourth straight session.

After Friday’s dismal US jobs report, Fed boss Janet Yellen said any interest rate rise would be gradual — although she was still upbeat on the world’s top economy.

“The perception of a lower for longer Fed has slowly but surely brought back an improvement in risk sentiment,” Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

The US and Japanese central banks hold policy meetings next week as receding expectations for a Fed interest rate rise dampened demand for the greenback.

The won jumped 0.7 percent against the dollar, while the Taiwanese dollar, Thai baht, Philippine peso and Indonesian rupiah also booked healthy gains.

In other deals, the dollar weakened to 107.08 yen from 107.39 yen Tuesday in New York, while the euro climbed to $1.1369 from $1.1358.

The single European currency was also lower at 121.73 yen, from 121.97 yen in US trade.

On Tuesday, official data showed growth in the eurozone strengthened to a revised 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, but analysts warned the trend would falter later in the year.

The yen also got a boost as data showing Japan’s economy grew slightly more than first thought in January-March cooled hopes for expected stimulus and spending measures.

“In the medium-to-long term, there will continue to be downward pressure on dollar-yen,” Shinichiro Kadota, a foreign-exchange strategist at Barclays, told Bloomberg News.

“I don’t expect any change of policy from either the Fed or BoJ,” Kadota added.

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