Dollar Down, But Near Previous Week’s Highs Over Evergrande Fears

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – The dollar was down on Monday morning in Asia, but remained near the highs hit during the previous week, thanks to renewed concerns about China Evergrande Group’s (HK:3333) debt woes and the latest U.S. jobs report, due later in the week.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.04% to 94.052 by 11:39 PM ET (3:39 AM GMT).

The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.01% to 111.06.

The AUD/USD pair inched up 0.02% to 0.7258 while the NZD/USD pair edged down 0.13% to 0.6934.

The USD/CNY pair was steady at 6.4467 with Chinese markets closed for a holiday. The GBP/USD pair inched down 0.07% to 1.3536.

Shares in developer China Evergrande Group were halted in Hong Kong earlier in the day. No reason was given for the suspension, which re-triggered fears about global contagion from the developer’s debt woes.

“There’s a bit of nervousness,” even if most traders still think China Evergrande’s systemic risk can be contained, Bank of Singapore currency analyst Moh Siong Sim told Reuters.

“It’s part of the wall of worry,” which the market could eventually “climb” if the COVID-19 backdrop improves, growth stabilizes and inflation concerns subside, but which for now is keeping investor sentiment fairly dour, he added.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hand down its policy decision on Tuesday, with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand following a day later and the Reserve Bank of India will hand down its decision on Friday.

The U.S. will also release its latest jobs report, including non-farm payrolls, on Friday, and is likely to be good enough for the U.S. Federal Reserve to begin asset tapering before the end of 2021.

“The question is whether there is a number that alters the Fed’s view on tapering its bond purchases in November, and what a really weak or hot number means amid the backdrop of rising stagflation fears,” Pepperstone head of research, Chris Weston told Reuters.

“If U.S. treasuries find further buyers this week into non-farm payrolls, the dollar may go on sale this week.”

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