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US dollar stronger on data

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by Elaine Frei

The US dollar strengthened somewhat on Tuesday after newly released economic data revived speculation about the possibility that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates again when it meets next week. Also helping the greenback were comments by new US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, who repeated the “strong dollar” policy of that agency. Among the new data reported was the rise to 2.4 percent of the core personal consumption expenditure deflator, which is the Fed’s favorite inflation measure. In addition, the prices paid component of Supply Management’s manufacturing index was up two points to 78.5.

All of these news items helped the US dollar to gain 0.3 percent to ¥115.02 and 0.2 percent to C$1.1336 versus the Canadian dollar. However, the greenback was just about even at $1.2767 in relation to the euro and it dropped 0.1 percent to $1.8697 against sterling.

The Japanese yen was weaker not only in relation to the US dollar, but it also dropped 0.3 percent versus the euro to ¥146.83 and fell 0.4 percent against sterling to ¥215.08.

Sterling was stronger after Italy said that a quarter of its cash reserves are now in pounds. The UK currency was at £0.6827 in relation to the euro and at SFr2.3041 against the Swiss franc.

Politics in Mexico send the peso lower for the second day in a row as supporters of the losing candidate in last month’s presidential election held a mass rally. The peso was 0.6 percent lower to 11.02 pesos to the dollar.

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News posted: August 1, 2006

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