Dollar edges up amid speculation about US economy

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US Currency. AP FILE PHOTO

TOKYO – The dollar edged up on Monday as trading remained cautious amid speculation about the timing of an end to massive US stimulus plans.

The dollar gained to 98.49 yen in morning Asian trade from 98.16 late Friday in New York.

The euro bought $1.3202, down from $1.3218, while the single currency was trading at 130.09 yen against 129.82 yen.

US financial markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day federal holiday.

“The market is paying more attention to US economic indicators than Syria,” said Daisuke Karakama, market economist at Mizuho Bank’s forex division.

“Especially, the market is focusing on US jobless figures to be released on Friday, ahead of the upcoming FOMC meeting,” Karakama said.

“Nervous trading is expected during the week as we need to pay attention to a lot of things,” he added.

US consumer spending sputtered in July amid weak income growth, according to Commerce Department data released Friday.

The new data cast a cloud over speculation that the Federal Reserve will begin to reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programme this year.

Concerns about the strength of the major economic indicators in the third quarter could convince the Fed to delay the move, which could come as soon as its September 17-18 monetary policy meeting.

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