- Inflation concerns weigh on U.S dollar
- NY explosion sparks yen, Swiss franc safety buying
- Bitcoin surges to record as futures trading starts
The U.S. dollar weakened on Monday, weighed down by tepid inflation data from Friday’s jobs report, while safe-haven currencies the Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained after an explosion rocked one of New York’s busiest commuter hubs.
Jobs data for November released on Friday showed still sluggish wage growth, even as job gains grew at a strong pace.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates at its two-day policy meeting that will end on Wednesday. Investors will be watching for discussion around disappointing inflation for indications on how many further hikes are likely next year.
“I still think we probably have some impact from non-farm payrolls on Friday,” said Mark McCormick, North American head of FX strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.
“Markets after last week’s numbers are probably going into the Fed a little bit more cautious, especially if (Yellen) continues to play out the disappointments we’ve seen around inflation and how that may impact the outlook next year,” McCormick said.
Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Wednesday will be a key data focus for further clues on price pressures.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was last down 0.07 percent at 93.83.
The Japanese yen and the Swiss franc both gained on Monday after the explosion at New York’s Port Authority, and police said one suspect was injured and in custody, with three other injuries reported. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio said it was “an attempted terrorist attack.”
The dollar was last down 0.08 percent at 113.38 yen and down 0.19 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.99 francs .
Bitcoin was also in the spotlight, as futures of the cryptocurrency began trading on Cboe Global Markets.
Bitcoin was up around 11 percent at $1,6360 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, just shy of an all-time high of $16,666.66 hit on the exchange on Friday.
The most-traded futures contract opened at $15,460 before leaping to a high of $18,850. They last stood at $18,040.