FX round-up: Dollar carves out gains on weak data, Spanish auction
Fri 21 Sep 2012
LONDON (SHARECAST) - The dollar marked gains across the board on Thursday as nerves about global growth were tested following weak Chinese and Eurozone data.
The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index contracted for an 11th consecutive month while a preliminary Eurozone purchasing-managers’ index stumbled to its lowest level since June 2009.
French business activity also tumbled, with its PMI falling almost four points to 44.1.
Along with all the data, traders were also keeping focus on Spain. The nation's bond auction drew better than expected demand, selling €4.8bn in medium and long-term debt ahead of its €4.5bn target. While the result was good, many analysts pointed out that it could reduce the chances of a bailout request ahead of the European Union summit.
The dollar index, which measures the US unit against a basket of six major currencies, advanced to 79.429 from 79.114 on Wednesday.
The euro bought $1.2968 versus $1.3052 on Wednesday while the single currency traded at ¥101.45 from ¥102.22. Against the yen, the dollar bought ¥78.25 compared with ¥78.39 despite the Bank of Japan's extension of its bond-buying programme earlier in the week.
The yen has gathered pace against major currencies after analysts said the BoJ's moves weren’t bold enough.
Traders said risk appetite was mostly off the table on fears about global growth and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and between China and Japan.
Sterling bought $1.6216 from $1.6221 and the Australian dollar dropped to $1.0436 from $1.0482 after the Chinese PMI data.