Dollar nurses losses after hit from downbeat GDP report

The dollar on Monday pulled away from lows it hit following disappointing U.S. growth figures late last week while the yen pared some its large gains made after the Bank of Japan's smaller-than-expected stimulus steps.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, was up 0.1 percent at 95.654 .DXY, crawling away from its Friday low of 95.384, its lowest since July 5.

U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 1.2 percent annual rate in April-June, Commerce Department figures showed on Friday, falling far short of the 2.6 percent increase forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

"The U.S. dollar advance was stopped in its tracks by the disappointingly weak Q2 GDP figures," Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said in a note.

The dollar index's next immediate technical target is 94.75, he said, as market speculation of a near-term interest rate hike continue to fade.

"The FOMC statement earlier in the week did not leave the impression that a September hike was likely, and with the poor growth numbers, the odds were downgraded further," Chandler said.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told reporters after the GDP release that the Fed should not overreact to Friday's weaker-than-expected growth report, but needs to consider more data before contemplating another interest rate increase.

Interest rate futures implied traders saw a 33 percent chance on Friday that the Fed would raise rates by year-end, down from 43 percent on Thursday, CME Group's FedWatch gauge showed.

The weaker-than-expected GDP report followed a strong U.S. non-farm payrolls report for June, as well as improving inflation, retail sales and jobless claims data, that had prompted many investors to increase their dollar positions.

Speculators raised their bullish U.S. dollar bets to the highest level in nearly five months, with the value of the dollar's net long position increasing to $13.66 billion in the week ended July 26 from $10.42 billion the previous week, according to Reuters calculations and data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday. [IMM/FX]

The nonfarm payrolls report for July will be released on Friday. 

Economists polled by Reuters project a gain of 175,000 jobs, down from June's 287,000 increase. 

The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 4.9 percent.

Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar added 0.3 percent to 102.36 yen JPY=, after whipsaw trading in Friday's session in which it ranged from a low of 101.97 to a high of 105.75. 

The euro rose 0.2 percent to 114.27 yen EURJPY=.

The BOJ disappointed market hopes on Friday that it might increase its already massive buying of Japanese government bonds or take already negative interest rates lower. 

Instead, it increased its purchase of exchange-traded funds to 6 trillion yen and kept interest rates at minus 0.1 percent, leading some strategists and investors to conclude that policymakers are running out of options.

The euro was steady at $1.1173 EUR= while sterling was little changed at $1.3220 GBP=, with investors focused on the Bank of England's decision on Thursday.

A Reuters poll of economists published last week predicted the British central bank would cut its benchmark bank rate for the first time since 2009 to 0.25 percent from 0.50 percent, but most said it would not revive its massive bond-buying program for now.


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