NEW YORK: The dollar slid across the board on Tuesday, as investors shifted their focus away from hawkish remarks on US interest rates by Federal Reserve officials and toward a speech on Friday by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Yellen will speak at the annual meeting of world central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at the end of the week.
Investors are anxious to see whether Yellen will echo the hawkish views expressed by Fischer and New York Fed President William Dudley, or take a more subdued stance in line with the minutes from the Fed’s July policy meeting. Those minutes suggested the central bank was not in a hurry to raise rates.
“The big surprise (at Jackson Hole) would be a hawkish shift from Yellen which would be enough to rock the boat on risk and send US rates and the dollar sharply higher,” said Brad Bechtel, managing director at Jefferies in New York.
The dollar, having hit a five-day high of 94.958 against a basket of currencies on Monday, dipped 0.1 percent to 94.397 mid-morning on Tuesday.
The dollar briefly dipped below 100 yen earlier before recovering to 100.11 yen in the mid-morning session, leaving it down 0.2 percent on the day.
The greenback was helped by data showing that US new home sales surged 12.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000 units last month, the highest level since October 2007.
The biggest mover among developed-world currencies on Tuesday was the New Zealand dollar, which rose as much as 1 percent to US$0.7340 after Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Graeme Wheeler said he did not see the need for a rapid succession of interest rate cuts.
The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.1329, close to last week’s two-month high of $1.1366. Data showed euro zone private business activity was stable in August, albeit at a muted level, alleviating some concerns that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union would spill over negatively into the currency bloc.