NEW YORK: The US dollar eased off a 13-1/2 month peak on Thursday, while the Chinese yuan recovered from its weakest level since January 2017 on news China and the United States will hold a new round of trade talks later this month.
The development between the world’s two biggest economies offered hope for investors who have been rattled by tit-for-tat tariffs between Beijing and Washington this summer.
Still, doubts persist over whether the talks would help the nations resolve their trade issues.
“I would say I’m very cautious whether this next round of talks would go anywhere,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global strategist at Invesco in New York. “But the market is looking for anything to hold on for a kernel of hope.”
The dollar’s pullback came while President Donald Trump praised its recent strength on Thursday, even though he had said a strong greenback puts US exporters at a disadvantage.
“Money is pouring into our cherished DOLLAR like rarely before,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Earlier Thursday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC television a strong dollar was a sign of confidence.
At 11:43 a.m. (1543 GMT), the ICE index that tracks the greenback against six major currencies was down 0.18 percent at 96.518. It reached 96.984 on Wednesday, which was the highest since June 2017.
The yuan in offshore trading gained 1.2 percent to 6.8630 per dollar, rebounding from Wednesday’s 6.9587, its weakest level since Jan. 4, 2017, EBS data showed.
Market optimism was also stoked by a further recovery in the Turkish lira, whose four-day plunge spurred a flight out of other emerging market currencies and touched off a selloff in the euro due to fears about European banks’ exposure to Turkey.
Turkey’s lira rose for a third straight day, gaining 2.7 percent to 5.7917 before a presentation by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak to investors, but is still down 37 percent against the dollar this year.
The lira’s bounce helped boost the Brazilian real and Mexican peso but did little for the Indian rupee and South African rand.
The euro was up over 0.3 percent at $1.13855 after hitting a 13-month low of $1.13010 on Wednesday.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told Albayrak on Thursday that Germany has an interest in an economically stable Turkey.
On Wednesday, Qatar pledged $15 billion in investments in Turkey, stoking the lira’s recovery from a record low.
Concerns remain about President Tayyip Erdogan’s policies to combat Turkey’s double-digit inflation and his row with Washington over a US pastor.