Dollar Slips; Russian Ruble Drops Amid Fresh Sanctions on Moscow

Aug 10, 2018

The U.S. dollar slipped on Friday after rising overnight to near a 13-month high, while the Russian Ruble fell on news that Washington is planning to impose fresh sanctions on Moscow.

The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, slipped 0.02% to 95.44 by 1:02AM ET (05:02 GMT).

The U.S. currency, which is widely seen as a winner in a U.S.-China trade war, was up about 0.6% overnight and traded near the 13-month high of 95.652.

Markets are looking ahead to the U.S. consumer price inflation (CPI) report for July due later in the day, which is expected to show inflation likely increased 0.2%, after rising 0.1% in June.

Meanwhile, the Russian ruble received moderate focus after hitting a two-year low amid reports that the U.S. announced new sanctions on Moscow over the alleged poisoning attack on a former double agent in the U.K. Russia on March 4.

The USD/CNY pair gained 0.3% to 6.8412 on Friday, while HSBC said they expect the Chinese currency to strengthen against the dollar until the end of 2018.

HSBC’s comments came after financial firms including J.P. Morgan, UBS and ING casting doubts over the yuan’s outlook amid escalating trade tensions and China’s economic challenges.

"Currently the market is very much driven by negative sentiment induced by concerns about trade tensions ... We think that the market is currently projecting a pretty pessimistic scenario," Fan Cheuk Wan, head of investment strategy and advisory for Asia at HSBC Private Bank, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday, adding that the situation with the U.S. actually gives China more incentive to promote domestic demand for growth.

"Given that domestic demand contributes more than 90% of China's GDP growth, domestic demand growth would hold key to financial and economic stability in the second half of the year," she added.

Elsewhere, the yen strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, as the USD/JPY pair slipped 0.32% to 110.73.