The dollar and the Japanese yen, considered to be safe havens for investors, fell on Monday as trading appetite rose after US President Donald Trump said he would delay the tariffs on Chinese imports. Trump also indicated that trade negotiations between the two countries have made great progress.
The deadline previously set by the United States for higher tariffs on Chinese goods was March 1st. Global equity markets rose on the news, together with currencies that perform well in risky environments, such as the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar.
Trump said on Monday he would hold a summit with China to sign any final trade deal and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. The relaxed position on trade talks suggests that “a more substantive deal may be in the works that could address structural issues related to intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.”
In afternoon trading, the dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of six competitors, rose 0.07% to 96.58 as investors bought currencies considered more risky. The yen was weaker, pushing the dollar up 0.37% to 110.10 yen.
At the same time, China’s yuan hit its highest level in seven months, while Chinese stocks performed well, together with major European stocks. The yuan rose to 6.6737 per dollar, to reach its strongest level since mid-July, falling 0.4 percent to 6.68. The currency rose 2.7 percent against the dollar in 2019, reversing the losses it recorded in the previous year, of 5.5.
The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for China as Australia relies on Chinese demand for its exports, rose 0.56% to $0.7167. The New Zealand dollar was up 0.57% at $ 0.6881.
The euro was down 0.04% at $1.1353, remaining within the last range.
The British pound fell below $1.31, down 0.01%, as traders considered whether the British Government could delay Brexit if Prime Minister Teresa May failed to secure support for the deal.