NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar rose against the yen on Friday, extending a broad trend that has been in place since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election in November on expectations of more pro-growth policies to bolster an economy that has improved but sputtered at times.
The greenback has climbed for two straight days, pulling it back from seven-week lows against a basket of currencies on the view that it would gain from a rise in border tariffs, tax reform and future spending.
“Donald Trump’s ambitious fiscal plans point to stronger growth in the coming quarters,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com in London.
“He has hit the ground running, making a number of executive orders in his first week as the president. So hopes that he will boost economic growth are alive and this may keep the dollar bid,” he added.
Increasing expectations of tax reforms and fiscal stimulus are easing concerns of trade protectionism, analysts say.
“The heavily abstracted threat of a trade war is unlikely to shake investor confidence until the reality arrives,” said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and market strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.
The dollar briefly wobbled after the U.S. Commerce Department’s first estimate of fourth-quarter gross domestic product showed that growth slowed more than expected, to a 1.9 percent annual rate due to weak exports. The market was expecting growth of 2.2 percent.
The economy grew only 1.6 percent in 2016, the weakest pace since 2011. [nLNNRCEDA1
Dennis de Jong, managing director at online currency broker UFX.com in Limassol, Cyprus, described Friday’s U.S. GDP number as “solid but not spectacular,” and said it should keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates multiple times this year.
The 4 percent fall in the dollar in the three weeks from Jan. 3 reflected doubts about how the new administration’s policy mix would play out for the currency, particularly after both Trump and Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin hinted at concerns over the dollar’s strength.
But many analysts cast it simply as a necessary adjustment to market positioning before the dollar can deliver on what were widespread expectations of a strong rally in 2017.
In late trading, the dollar was up 0.5 percent against the yen, to 115.11 yen JPY=, after touching a one-week high of 115.37 yen.
The dollar also rose against sterling, which fell 0.3 percent to $1.2559 GBP=.
The euro, however, gained 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.0693 EUR=, leaving the dollar index at 100.60 .DXY, or 0.2 percent higher on the day.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Leslie Adler