Dollar stands tall against yen ahead of US GDP data

dollarNEW YORK: The dollar stood tall against the yen in Asian trading on Friday, on track for weekly gains against most rivals, as investors waited for U.S. third quarter growth data later in the day.

Positive growth numbers would reinforce expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve is gearing up to hike interest rates.

The dollar got an overnight lift from yields on U.S. Treasuries, which climbed to roughly five-month peaks tracking gains in German and British bond yields as investors speculated that the Bank of England and the European Central Bank would both hold off on further easing measures.

Strong growth data in Britain prompted investors to trim their bets that the Bank of England will cut interest rates at its policy meeting next week.

“The UK GDP was higher than expected, which boosted yields, and then higher U.S. yields in turn helped lift the dollar,” said Kaneo Ogino, director at foreign exchange research firm Global-info Co in Tokyo.

The dollar notched a three-month high against the yen of 105.34 yen JPY= on Thursday. It was last down 0.1 percent on the day at 105.22 yen, up 1.4 percent for the week.

“105 was both a psychological and technical point, and it broke ahead of U.S. GDP later today,” Ogino said. “Some people did not want to be short ahead of that, also with the Bank of Japan and Fed meetings next week, and U.S. non-farm payrolls data one week from today.”

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told parliament last week that he saw no need to ease at the bank’s Oct. 31-Nov. 1 policy meeting, suggesting there will be no further monetary stimulus except in response to a big external shock.

Data released earlier on Friday showed Japan’s core consumer prices fell 0.5 percent in September from a year earlier to mark the seventh straight month of declines, adding to a recent run of gloomy indicators.

The dollar also traded around a 7 1/2 year high against the Swedish crown after Sweden’s Riksbank said the chances of another interest rate cut had increased and it was ready to expand its quantitative easing programme.

The greenback last stood at 9.0776 crowns SEK= after climbing to 9.0890 crowns on Thursday, its highest level since early March 2009.

The euro EUR= edged up 0.1 percent to $1.0901, up 0.2 percent for the week.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar edged up to 98.929 .DXY, on track to rise 0.2 percent for the week in which it touched a nearly nine-month high of 99.119.

Sterling was up 0.1 percent at $1.2169 GBP=D4, on track to end a choppy week down 0.5 percent.