Markets News

FOREX-Dollar stronger, sterling drops on weak growth

    * Sterling drops on weak growth data
    * Chinese yuan gains, yen weakens on better risk appetite

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar index edged
higher on Monday before a heavy week of data, while sterling was
the weakest performer after tepid growth increased the
likelihood that the Bank of England will cut interest rates this
    In the United States, consumer price data on Tuesday and
retail sales data on Thursday are this week’s main U.S. economic
focuses. The greenback weakened on Friday after U.S. job growth
slowed in December.
    The pound slipped after data on Monday showed that Britain’s
economy grew at its weakest annual pace in more than seven years
in November.
    “The UK story is a reminder that despite what may have been
feared earlier, the U.S. remains in solid shape ... whereas the
rest of the world’s struggling,” said Win Thin, global head of
currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
    On Sunday, another Bank of England policymaker, Gertjan
Vlieghe, said he would vote for a rate cut this month unless
economic data improved significantly.
    The dollar index gained 0.10% to 97.457. Sterling
 dropped 0.53% against the dollar to $1.2990, after
earlier falling as low as $1.2959.
    The offshore Chinese yuan reached a 5-1/2-month high
and the safe-haven Japanese yen dropped to a 7-1/2-month low as
the imminent signing of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal
boosted sentiment.
    The U.S.-China Phase 1 agreement, due to be signed at the
White House on Wednesday, marks the first step toward ending a
damaging 18-month trade dispute between the world's two largest
    Adam Cole, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said that in
the absence of any significant announcements over the weekend
"markets have defaulted to small risk-on moves".
    The Australian dollar, which has been hurt by worries
about the economic damage of the country's continuing bushfires,
rose to a one-week high of $0.6919 before giving back those
    Currency bid prices at 9:51AM (1451 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1120        $1.1120     +0.00%         -0.80%      +1.1135     +1.1113
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        109.8800       109.4600    +0.38%         +0.94%      +109.9200   +109.4500
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.19         121.74      +0.37%         +0.20%      +122.2900   +121.7400
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9712         0.9723      -0.11%         +0.35%      +0.9736     +0.9705
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2990         1.3059      -0.53%         -2.03%      +1.3062     +1.2962
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3052         1.3050      +0.02%         +0.51%      +1.3067     +1.3035
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6894         0.6901      -0.10%         -1.81%      +0.6919     +0.6883
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0801         1.0815      -0.13%         -0.47%      +1.0833     +1.0799
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8560         0.8511      +0.58%         +1.25%      +0.8579     +0.8515
 NZ               NZD=        0.6621         0.6629      -0.12%         -1.71%      +0.6652     +0.6622
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.9056         8.8855      +0.23%         +1.45%      +8.9164     +8.8638
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.9029         9.8817      +0.21%         +0.66%      +9.9133     +9.8656
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.4937         9.4990      -0.07%         +1.57%      +9.5288     +9.4814
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5568        10.5645     -0.07%         +0.84%      +10.5925    +10.5470

 (Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London; editing by
Jonathan Oatis)