As Bush said Israel comes first, not US interests.
Associated Press 15/8/2006
Dollar Falls Against Yen, Euro in Asia
TOKYO (AP) -- The dollar fell in Asia Tuesday ahead of the release of U.S. price data that may signal the future course of interest rates in the United States.
The dollar was trading at 116.48 yen in Tokyo midafternoon, down from 116.67 yen late Monday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.2746 from $1.2719.
The market is now focusing on U.S. consumer data set to be released Wednesday. The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy items, is expected to have risen 0.3 percent in July, according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey of economists. The core CPI rose by the same amount in June.
U.S. producer prices, to be released later Tuesday, are expected to show a 0.2 percent rise in July, matching the core measure's gains in June.
Stronger-than-expected rises in producer and consumer prices may fuel speculation that the Federal Reserve will resume raising interest rates, possibly as early as next month.
But analysts say the boost the dollar gets will probably be short-lived.
"The possibility of a U.S. rate hike might rise after PPI and CPI, but on the other hand, the U.S. economy is now slowing down," said Ko Haruki, vice president of Tokyo foreign exchange at Deutsche Bank, adding that the dollar could rise to 117 yen, while the euro could fall to $1.2620, if data are better than expected.
Positive indicators about a nation's economy generally boost the currency. Higher interest rates also make that currency more attractive to investors.
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates in recent years, and the market is waiting for signs that the hikes are coming to a halt.
Last week, the Fed left the federal funds rate unchanged at 5.25 percent, marking the first time it has skipped an opportunity to raise rates since it began a two-year credit tightening drive in June 2004. The funds rate, which was at a 46-year low of 1 percent at the start of the campaign, is now at the highest level in more than five years.
The dollar still enjoys the advantage of higher interest rates compared to other major currencies. The Bank of Japan's key lending rate stands at 0.25 percent and the European Central Bank's is at 3 percent.
The dollar was mixed against other regional currencies, climbing to 51.425 Philippine peso from 51.230 the previous day, but dipping to 46.420 Indian rupee from 46.57. It rose to 32.781 Taiwan dollar from 32.739.