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Major currencies steady on diminishing risk aversion

by International Commercial Investment on July 22, 2014

Source: Reuters

The dollar stood little changed and confined to a narrow range against the euro and yen on Tuesday, as currencies lost some momentum on a slight reduction in geopolitically-inspired risk aversion.

But that said, markets were still unable to fully shake off geopolitical concerns as tensions in the Ukraine and Gaza remained high, limiting the rebound by the dollar and euro against the safe-haven yen.

The dollar crept up 0.1 percent to 101.48 yen, having pulled back from a low of 101.09 hit late last week when a Malaysian airliner was downed over Ukraine and an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza began.

The euro edged up 0.1 percent to 137.26 yen after crawling back from a five-month trough of 136.71 yen hit late last week.

Against the dollar, the common currency was effectively flat at $1.3524 after recovering from a five-month trough of $1.3491 touched on Friday.

“Geopolitical developments channeled through higher oil prices will remain key theme this week,” said Shinichiro Kadota, chief FX strategist at Barclays Bank in Tokyo.

“Heightened geopolitical risk accompanied by higher oil will help the yen and Swiss franc appreciate while weighing on the Australian and New Zealand dollars. Emerging market currencies from Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand and India are also vulnerable to higher oil,” he said.

Oil prices have risen as the threat of escalating tension between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine mounted, with U.S. crude surging to a three-week high on Monday.[O/R]

Aside from geopolitical developments, participants kept an eye on the U.S. consumer prices data due at 1230 GMT. Focus was on whether the dollar would react if the data proved strong enough to raise expectations for accelerated monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.

The Labor Department is expected to report that U.S. inflation rose 0.3 percent in June, after rising food prices pushed the index to its biggest increase in more than a year in May.

The Australian dollar was little changed at $0.9368 with Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens’ speech at 0300 GMT being watched for comments on monetary policy and the Aussie’s current levels.

International Commercial InvestmentMajor currencies steady on diminishing risk aversion