The US currency advanced December 12 after retail sales increased the most since June and a Fed official said the odds of tapering bond purchases have risen along with gains in the labor market. South Korea’s won had the best five-day gain in eight weeks as exporters accelerated repatriation of overseas income. The Australian dollar slumped as the central bank talked down the currency. Fed policy makers meet on December 17 and 18.
“Dollar gains will probably come from US growth, which pushes up US yields more than expected,” said Geoffrey Yu, a senior currency strategist at UBS in London. “The biggest theme will be US tapering. I still like to be long dollar-yen. I know that’s the consensus view, but all the risks are still to the upside.”
The dollar climbed 0.3 per cent to ¥103.21 last week in New York, and reached ¥103.92, the highest since October 2008. The euro rallied 0.3 per cent to $1.3742, a fifth straight week of appreciation. Japan’s yen fell 0.6 per cent to ¥141.87 per euro.
The won strengthened 0.5 per cent last week to 1,052.55 per dollar, the biggest gain since the period ended October 18.
The Australian dollar had its longest stretch of weekly losses since 1985, as the central bank head intensified his efforts to talk down the world’s fifth-most traded currency.