Daily Afternoon Report 12.04.2016

The dollar was little changed against the other major currencies in quiet trade on Tuesday, hovering at eight-month lows as diminished expectations for upcoming rate hikes in the U.S. continued to weigh on the greenback.

USD/JPY rose 0.30% to 108.24, just off the previous session’s 17-month low of 107.65

The dollar remained under pressure after recent dovish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen prompted investors to push back expectations on the timing of the next interest rate increase.

Lower interest rates make the dollar less attractive to yield-seeking investors.

The greenback showed little reaction to comments from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, who said Monday he is “very open-minded” to deciding whether to raise rates at the bank’s June meeting but ruled out an April rate hike.

Data on Tuesday showed that U.S. import prices rose by 0.2% in March, disappointing expectations for an increase of 1.0%. Import prices fell 0.4% in February, whose figure was revised from a previously estimated 0.3% downtick.

Meanwhile, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said Monday the government was closely monitoring the foreign exchange market and added that the moves in the yen were one-sided and speculative.

But investors stuck to the view that Japan would refrain from any direct action to stem the yen’s gains until at least after this week’s G20 meetings in Washington.

EUR/USD was little changed at 1.1402, after rising to six-month highs of 1.1465 overnight.

Meanwhile, the dollar was lower against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.22% at 1.4271 and was steady against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF at 0.9537.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were stronger, with AUD/USD up 0.92% at 0.7665 and with NZD/USD climbing 0.74% to 0.6911.

Elsewhere, USD/CAD edged down 0.22% to trade at 1.2870.

The commodity currencies were boosted as Crude Oil continued to rise ahead of a highly-anticipated meeting between major oil producers from the Middle East and Russia scheduled in Doha next Sunday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 93.96, off an eight-month low of 93.62 hit earlier in the day.