April 3, 2017 / 1:27 AM / 3 years ago

Dollar slides versus yen, euro on U.S. political uncertainty

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and euro on Monday, as uncertainty about U.S. congressional support for President Donald Trump’s choice for Supreme Court justice revived doubts about his ability to fulfil his economic agenda.

Currency signs of Japanese Yen, Euro and the U.S. dollar are seen on a board outside a currency exchange office at Narita International airport, near Tokyo, Japan, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

“The more you see the lack of achievement on the part of the administration with respect to its campaign goals, the rougher it’s going to be for the dollar,” said Joe Trevisani, chief market strategist, at WorldWide Markets in Woodcliff, New Jersey.

“If we see the administration not able to advance the Supreme Court nomination, then it means down the road that it is not likely to achieve its goals on trade, on tax reform, and the possible stimulus. That would hurt dollar,” he added.

Democrats on Monday amassed enough support to block a U.S. Senate confirmation vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, but Republicans vowed to change Senate rules to ensure the conservative judge gets the lifetime job.

The new administration suffered a major political setback in March after Trump’s Republican party withdrew its own healthcare bill after years of promising to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature law. The dollar fell early last week in the aftermath before turning higher.

In afternoon trading, the dollar fell 0.4 percent against the yen to 110.90.

Monday’s U.S. construction spending and manufacturing data was positive overall, affirming the economy’s steady improvement.

Construction spending grew 0.8 percent to $1.19 trillion, the highest level since April 2006. A measure of U.S. manufacturing activity eased from a 2-1/2-year high in March, although a surge in factory jobs suggested that the sector’s energy-led recovery was gaining momentum.

Markets are focused this week on the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due Friday for clues on the likely pace of interest rate rises.

Investors are pricing in more than a 50 percent chance the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike rates at its June meeting, the second of the three increases expected this year.

The euro rose 0.2 percent versus the greenback to $1.0670, after hitting a three-week low as mixed economic data coming out of Europe added to existing worries about political risk in the euro zone.

Despite increasing activity at the fastest rate in nearly six years, euro zone factories struggled to keep up with demand in March, according to a survey that showed them again hiking prices.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Richard Chang

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