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Dollar struggles after weak US, China data

Dollar struggles after weak US, China dataTOKYO: The dollar extended its losses against the yen and euro Monday as weak US and Chinese data fuelled concerns about the global economy, and bolstered the case against a December rate rise.

The US government said Friday that consumer spending rose only by 0.1 percent in the United States in September, less than expected and the slowest rate since January. More US figures, including jobs data, is on tap for later in the week.

The strength of the US economy is key to a Federal Reserve move on interest rates and more weakness could push back a hike — which is a plus for the dollar — into 2016.

Sentiment took another hit Monday as weekend data showed activity in China’s vast manufacturing sector declined in October for the third straight month, triggering worries about the world’s number two economy, a crucial driver of global growth.

“Tokyo has taken over the dollar-selling sentiment from New York,” Minori Uchida, head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, told AFP.

“It is difficult to buy the dollar now as the recent economic figures are not strong enough to justify a rate hike. Players are now paying attention to key indicators to be released later this week, notably US employment figures,” he added.

In Tokyo, the greenback slipped to 120.34 yen, from 120.67 yen in New York late Friday and above 121 yen a day earlier.

The euro bought $ 1.1029 and 132.73 yen in Tokyo against $ 1.1003 and 132.77 yen in US trade.

However, the dollar did notch up modest gains against some emerging currencies from last week’s rates as riskier assets took a hit in the wake of the China-US economy numbers.

The US unit ticked up against the Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won, the Philippine peso and Thai baht.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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