Dollar Extends Gains Vs. Yen

The dollar continued to gain against the yen and euro on Monday on positive reports from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers who expressed support for a near-term U.S. interest rate hike.

The dollar was up 0.5 percent at 100.760 yen, pulling further away from an 8-week low of 99.550 struck early last week on expectations that the Bank of Japan would consider a deeper cut to negative interest rates.

The dollar index rose 0.4 percent to 94.843. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Sunday gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy's current strength, saying that the central bank is close to hitting its job and inflation targets. The greenback Hawkish comments from New York Fed President William Dudley and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart also helped to move the greenback but dollar bulls were disappointed after the July Fed policy meeting minutes suggested the central bank was not in a hurry to increase rates.

Investors are anticipating Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday during a global gathering of central bankers for more concrete policy hints. According to some strategists, "Market attention will be squarely focused on U.S. Fed Chair Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole. We believe she may use the opportunity to signal the Federal Open Market Committee's growing confidence in the outlook for activity and inflation."

The euro was down 0.3 percent at $1.1289 while the pound was down 0.1 percent at $1.3058 after backing away from a 2-week high of $1.3186 on Friday.

The Australian dollar slipped 0.4 percent to $0.7595, having touched a 2-week low of $0.7584 and the New Zealand dollar shed 0.6 percent to $0.7228.

The Aussie and kiwi extended losses from Friday, when ratings agency Moody's cut its outlook on Australian banks to negative, providing investors an impetus to sell both currencies.

Disclosure: None. 

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