NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose against the euro on Monday in a continuation of last week’s bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in the coming months, while the yen edged higher on comments from a high-profile economic adviser.
With little U.S. economic data, recent commentary from Fed officials and minutes from the central bank’s March policy meeting suggesting the possibility of a June rate hike boosted demand for the dollar against the euro.
“To some extent that possibility has been put back on the table, and that’s part of what’s driving the dollar higher,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.
The dollar weakened against the Japanese yen after hitting a roughly three-week high of 120.845 yen earlier in the session. Analysts cited comments on Monday from Koichi Hamada, an economic adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, indicating that the yen was excessively weak against the dollar.
“What this implies is that Japanese officials have reached the limit of yen weakness that they want to see,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.
“If dollar/yen were to appreciate too fast, it would be too jarring for the Japanese consumer.”
The Bank of Japan’s massive monetary easing aimed at boosting growth and lifting inflation to a 2 percent target has triggered declines in the yen.
Data showing a 15 percent contraction in Chinese exports in March, the worst in about a year, also supported the dollar against the euro as well as the Australian dollar.
The Aussie dollar, considered a liquid proxy of China plays because of the two countries’ trade links, hit $0.7553 earlier in the session, near a six-year low of $0.7534 set earlier in the month.
The euro was last down 0.3 percent against the dollar at $1.05750 after earlier hitting a nearly 1-month low of $1.05205. The dollar was down 0.21 percent against the yen at 120.050 yen.
The dollar was also down 0.28 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.97665 franc after earlier hitting its highest in roughly three weeks of 0.98625 franc.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last up 0.11 percent at 99.444.
Reporting by Sam Forgione; Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly in London Editing by W Simon