The US dollar approached its highest level in two months on Wednesday, as investors await the speech of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve (US Central Bank) this week to search for indications on the path of monetary policy, while the yen fluctuated near 146 per dollar.
The dollar index, which measures the performance of the US currency against six competing currencies, scored 103.55, not far from the two-month high of 103.71 that it touched on Tuesday. The index rose 1.6% in August and is on its way to ending losses for two consecutive months.
The currency market is weakening amid a lull in summer volatility and ahead of a symposium organized by the Federal Reserve of central banks in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this week, said Christopher Wong, currency strategist at OCBC in Singapore.
Dealers are awaiting the speech of US Central Bank Chairman Jerome Powell at the event scheduled for August 24-26. Investors will analyze his words to predict the course of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
The yen rose 0.20% to $145.59 in Asian trading hours, not far from a nine-month high of 146.565 hit last week, leaving traders on the lookout for any signs of state intervention.
Atsushi Takeuchi, who was head of the foreign exchange department at the Bank of Japan during state intervention between 2010 and 2012, predicted that Tokyo would hold back unless the yen crossed 150 to the dollar.
The euro rose 0.07% to $1.0852, a little off a two-month low of $1.0833 it touched overnight.
The Australian dollar increased 0.40% to $0.645, while the New Zealand dollar rose 0.29% to $0.596.
As for cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin increased in the latest trading by 0.77% to $26,049, after touching a two-month low of $25,350 last night.