Markets News

FOREX-Yen weakens as risk appetite improves before trade deal

    * U.S. labels Switzerland a currency manipulator, removes
    * U.S. and China expected to sign trade deal on Wednesday
    * Japanese yen weakens on improving risk sentiment
    * U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in December

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Jan 14 (Reuters) - China's yuan was slightly
weaker on Tuesday after earlier hitting its highest level since
July, while the Japanese yen dropped to eight-month lows before
the United States and China are due to sign a preliminary trade
agreement to ease their 18-month old tariff war.
    The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday reversed its
designation of China as a currency manipulator in what is seen
as a conciliatory gesture ahead of the signing on Wednesday.

    Risk sentiment has improved and demand for safe-haven assets
like the yen have decreased on signs that the two countries are
closer to de-escalating the trade war that has been blamed as a
major headwind to global growth.
    The trade deal “doesn’t address the structural issues, but
at least for markets it reduces some of the stress and some of
the anxiety and uncertainty that plagued the markets throughout
2019,” said Mark McCormick, North American head of FX strategy
at TD Securities in Toronto.
    The yen weakened as much as 110.2, the most yen per
dollar since May 23, before gaining back to 110.0.
    The offshore yuan weakened to 6.884, after earlier
gaining to 6.865 per dollar, which was the strongest since July
    The Swiss Franc also gained after the United States added
Switzerland to its watchlist of currency manipulators.

    The greenback was higher against the euro as year-end
rebalancing that had benefited the single currency at the
expense of the dollar continued to be unwound.
    “We are getting some of the reversal of that, along with, I
think the macro story in Europe is still generally weak,”
McCormick said.
    The euro has fallen to $1.1112, from a five-month
high of $1.1239 on Dec. 31.
    Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. consumer prices rose
slightly in December and monthly underlying inflation pressures
retreated, which could allow the Federal Reserve to keep
interest rates unchanged at least through this year.
    The next major economic focus will be U.S. retail sales on
    Currency bid prices at 9:41AM (1441 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1112        $1.1133     -0.19%         -0.87%      +1.1144     +1.1105
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.0000       109.9300    +0.06%         +1.05%      +110.2000   +109.9000
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.25         122.40      -0.12%         +0.25%      +122.7500   +122.2000
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9690         0.9707      -0.18%         +0.12%      +0.9713     +0.9669
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2986         1.2988      -0.02%         -2.06%      +1.3013     +1.2955
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3069         1.3056      +0.10%         +0.62%      +1.3079     +1.3049
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6904         0.6903      +0.01%         -1.67%      +0.6909     +0.6886
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0771         1.0806      -0.32%         -0.75%      +1.0820     +1.0761
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8555         0.8572      -0.20%         +1.22%      +0.8595     +0.8548
 NZ               NZD=        0.6615         0.6629      -0.21%         -1.80%      +0.6634     +0.6608
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.8882         8.8953      -0.08%         +1.25%      +8.9043     +8.8763
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.8788         9.9040      -0.25%         +0.42%      +9.9119     +9.8762
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.4703         9.4635      -0.10%         +1.31%      +9.4782     +9.4501
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5257        10.5360     -0.10%         +0.54%      +10.5589    +10.5150
 (Reporting by Karen Brettell; editing by Jonathan Oatis)