Dollar languishes near one-week low after consumer sentiment blow
By Kevin Buckland
TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar held near a one-week low versus major peers on Monday, after slumping the most in almost seven weeks on Friday as diving U.S. consumer confidence hurt bets for an early tightening of Federal Reserve policy.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rivals, was little changed at 92.528, maintaining a 0.50% tumble from the end of last week.
It dipped as far as 109.455 yen for the first time since Aug. 5 on Monday, before trading 0.13% weaker at 109.465.
Against the euro, it was mostly flat at $1.17960, close to the one-week low of $1.18045 reached Friday.
A University of Michigan survey released at the end of last week showed consumer sentiment sliding to the lowest level since 2011 amid an acceleration in COVID-19 infections caused by the fast-spreading Delta variant.
U.S. retail sales data due Tuesday will be closely watched for further clues on consumer behaviour.
"Does the survey signal an imminent turn in the U.S. economy? We doubt it given vaccine efficacy remains high and the hit to sentiment likely means more people will get vaccinated," Tapas Strickland, an analyst at National Australia Bank, wrote in a client note. "Instead, the Delta surge in the U.S. is more a case of delay rather than derail as far as the recovery is concerned."
The dollar has oscillated with the flow of economic data, with momentum from a jobs market recovery pushing it to a four-month peak on Wednesday, only to see it knocked back by cooling inflation pressures.
Net dollar long positions rose to their highest level since early March last year in the week ended Aug. 10, according to Reuters calculations and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.
Traders continue to look toward the Fed's central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this month, for clues to the Fed's next move.
Ahead of that though, Fed Chair Jerome Powell will hold a virtual town hall meeting with educators and students on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Fed releases minutes of its last policy meeting at the end of July.
The Australian dollar sank 0.25% to $0.7357 on Monday, as COVID-19 lockdowns were extended and tightened. Sydney will see stricter rules, while restrictions spread to the entire state of New South Wales over the weekend.
Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's latest meeting are due on Tuesday.
The kiwi dollar was 0.05% weaker at $0.70345 ahead of a Reserve Bank of New Zealand's policy meeting on Wednesday, at which economists widely expect the first hike in the benchmark interest rate since 2014.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin edged higher to around $47,700, approaching the three-month high of $48,190 marked over the weekend.
Smaller rival ether rose to a fresh three-month high at $3,340.06.
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland)
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