Dollar plumbs two-year low as Fed comes into focus

The dollar touched a more than two-year low on Monday and is set to log its largest monthly fall since July as a combination of vaccine optimism and bets on more monetary easing in the United States drove investors out of the world’s reserve currency.

Against a basket of currencies, the greenback slipped 0.1% to 91.707, its lowest since April 2018. The risk-sensitive New Zealand dollar hit a two-and-a-half year high and is headed for its best monthly percentage gain in seven years.

“The themes remain familiar: broad dollar weakness amid improving risk appetite,” ANZ Bank analysts said in a note.

“This sentiment is likely to continue into December and the (U.S. Federal Reserve) meeting, at which some further action is likely, given the near-term virus risks in the United States.”

The euro and Australian dollar each rose slightly to hit three-month peaks, though moves were small as world stocks took a breather at the end of the biggest calendar month rally on record.

The Aussie is up more than 5% for the month, the kiwi 6.3% and the euro 2.8%.

Sterling stood at $1.3325 and is up nearly 3% on the dollar this month as investors wager a Brexit deal will be brokered even as the deadline for talks loomed ever larger.

The dollar index has dropped about 2.5% in November as promising trial results for major vaccine candidates excited investors about an eventual end to the coronavirus pandemic. It is nearly 11% below a March peak of 102.990.

Nervousness about a wave of new infections across Europe and the United States and fresh lockdowns have provided some support to safe-haven currencies and a slight brake on the dropping dollar.

However, as the drawn-out U.S. election has distracted lawmakers from passing any sort of fiscal spending package, investors have begun to expect that the Fed will step in, probably with more bond buying, when it next meets in December.

Testimony from Fed chair Jerome Powell before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as U.S. labor market data this week will be closely watched for clues as to the central bank’s thinking and the broad shape of the economy recovery.

The Japanese yen was 0.3% firmer at 103.87 per dollar on Monday and has gained a little over half a percent through November as the death toll from the pandemic climbed towards 1.5 million people.

“The dollar is gently drifting to the lows of the year as investors re-allocate portfolios to recovery trades in the rest of the world,” ING strategists Chris Turner and Francesco Pesole said in a note to clients.

“While more lockdown restrictions may stand to curb U.S. equity markets, the prospect of the Fed being prepared to add more liquidity should limit any dollar upside. And given that the dollar index has fallen in seven of the last ten Decembers, we do favor gentle dollar downside into the end of the year.”

November also marks a sixth consecutive monthly gain for the Chinese yuan, which has soared some 9% from a low in May.

That equals a similar run of monthly gains six years ago, but it is far larger in magnitude as global capital flows in to ride China’s remarkable coronavirus recovery.

Month-end dollar demand weighed on the Chinese currency on Monday, offsetting another month of strong economic data, and the yuan fell 0.2% to 6.5851 per dollar.

The greenback was broadly steady elsewhere, although bitcoin advanced 2% to $18,557. It is up 34% this month, its largest monthly gain since April.

Later in the day, investors are awaiting European inflation data and, at 1030 GMT, a speech from European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.

Dollar poised for weekly losses on improving risk sentiment

The U.S. dollar index was steady at 92.03 against a basket of major currencies, treading water around a near three-month low of 91.84 it hit overnight.

The dollar has been under pressure this week, as riskier currencies benefited from increased optimism over a string of Covid-19 vaccines news reports and hopes for a more stable period in U.S. politics.

While the greenback will remain under pressure in near term due to prolonged “risk-on” sentiment led by vaccine hopes, Barclay’s Kadota said the market expects the currency to firm in mid-term.

“When looking at how economies have rebounded in the July quarter, the United States grew and made a strong rebound. In a scenario where vaccines becomes gradually available next year and economies return to normal, the U.S. will probably be one of the most resilient among developed countries. And I think that will create a dollar-favorable environment,” he said.

Dovish messaging from the European Central Bank’s chief economist and the minutes from last month’s meeting provided further confirmation of widely expected stimulus at its December gathering.

The central bank’s minutes from its October meeting showed policymakers agreed they could not afford to seem complacent during the second wave of the coronavirus, opting instead to lay the groundwork for more stimulus.

The ECB’s chief economist Philip Lane had also warned that tolerating “a longer phase of even lower inflation” would hurt consumption and investment as well as cementing expectations for low price growth in the future.

The euro was little changed against the greenback at $1.1905, away from a more than two months-high of $1.1941 it marked on Thursday.

Sterling fetched $1.3349, trading near a three-month high of $1.3399 it touched on Thursday, as market participants look for progress on Brexit talks.

The European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier will talk on Friday with some of the bloc’s ministers responsible for fisheries to discuss the state of play in the trade discussions with Britain, EU official said.

The Australian dollar firmed at 0.73605, having climbed to a near three-month high of 0.7374 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the kiwi changed hands at 0.7006 against the greenback.

Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, last fetched $17,271.86 in a volatile trade. Overnight, the cryptocurrency plunged as much as 13% to its lowest since Nov. 16, having rallied close to its all-time high of $19,666.

Dollar losses put on hold but long-term outlook tilts to downside

The dollar was on the defensive on Thursday as downbeat U.S. economic data and optimism about coronavirus vaccines prompted investors to seek out riskier assets tied to global commodities and emerging markets.

The British pound traded near a more than two-month high against the dollar as investors awaited details on trade talks between Britain and the European Union this week.

The dollar’s fall has been so rapid that it could rebound in the short term, market watchers said, but some investors still expect a decline over the longer term as they shift positions in expectation that the coronavirus outbreak will wane next year.


“A China-led recovery in the global economy and commodities should benefit commodities currencies,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

“The outlook is good, but we are reaching levels where authorities might feel some concern. Other emerging market currencies with good fundamentals should benefit.”

Against the euro, the dollar stood at $1.1926, close to its weakest in more than two months.

Sterling bought $1.3392, which is near its strongest level since Sept. 2. The pound held steady at 89.02 pence per euro.

The dollar was little changed at 104.32 yen.

Investors have rushed to riskier currencies and emerging-market assets in recent weeks after positive data on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and signs of stability in U.S. politics, which has weighed broadly on the dollar.

Sentiment for the greenback took a hit after data on Wednesday showed weekly U.S. jobless claims rose more than expected and personal incomes fell.

Some economists said more job losses are likely as many U.S. states reinforce restrictions on businesses to curb a spread of coronavirus infections.

The dollar index against a basket of six other currencies was near the lowest in more than two months.

In Asia, trading in the dollar was subdued because U.S. financial markets are closed later on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The onshore yuan rose to 6.5688 per dollar, resuming its advance toward a 29-month high set last week.

The Australian dollar traded near its highest since September, supported by improving risk appetite and strong Chinese demand for the commodities that Australia exports.

The New Zealand dollar traded near its strongest level in more than two years.

Dollar on shaky ground as investors shift to riskier assets

The dollar nursed losses on Wednesday as progress in developing a novel coronavirus vaccine and expectations for a fiscal boost from a new U.S. government triggered a shift of funds from the greenback to riskier assets.

The U.S. currency teetered near a two-month low against the Australian dollar and a two-year low against the New Zealand dollar, both considered barometers of risk sentiment due to their close ties with the global commodities trade.

Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency known for its volatile price swings, also traded near an all-time high, in a further sign that investors are growing more comfortable taking on riskier positions.

The U.S. dollar’s declines are likely to continue because a vaccine and the expected choice of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s next Treasury secretary relieve two big uncertainties for investors.

“Rising yields may lend the dollar some support, but the overall direction is it will head lower,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior foreign exchange strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“The trend has shifted to favor risk assets. Yellen will team up with the Fed and support the economy. U.S. rates will remain low for a long time.”

The dollar stood at $1.1901 against the euro on Wednesday in Asia, close to a two-week low.

The British pound bought $1.3363, close to the highest in more than two months.

Against the yen, the dollar held steady at 104.48.

Research suggesting that a Covid-19 vaccine could be available before year end has sent U.S. stocks surging to record highs and reduced the appeal of holding the dollar as a safe-harbor currency.

Risk appetite has also improved after the outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration began cooperating with the Biden transition, and after reports that Yellen, an advocate of more fiscal spending, will take the top job at Treasury.

The dollar index, pitting the dollar against a basket of six major currencies was at 92.129 after falling 0.4% on Tuesday.

The Antipodean currencies were already on the front foot as investors unwound bets for additional monetary easing in both countries.

Improving risk appetite means the Australian dollar’s next target is its high of $0.7413 on Sept. 1.

The New Zealand dollar, which has rallied 5.6% so far this month, is trading just shy of its strongest since June 2018.

Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, edged up to $19,189, approaching its record of $19,666 from December 2017.

Dollar bounces from three-month low, index trades above key support

The dollar bounced off an almost three-month low against a basket of currencies hit on Monday following optimism over another COVID-19 vaccine as the index approached a technical support level that if broken, could signal further weakness for the greenback.

The dollar had weakened as risk appetite got a boost after AstraZeneca said that its vaccine could be about 90% effective and it would prepare to submit data to authorities around the world that have a framework for conditional or early approval.

“At least for now the news from AstroZeneca is helping to overshadow concerns about the economic fallout from mounting business restrictions,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.

However, “the lingering downside threat to growth may help slow the dollar’s decline”, Manimbo said.

Investors are balancing the prospect of a closer rollout of COVID-19 vaccines against worsening U.S. economic data as a rise in COVID-19 cases again leads to business shutdowns.

The dollar index was last up 0.2% at 92.60, after earlier dropping to 92.013, the lowest since Sept. 1. It is hovering just above technical support around 92, a conclusive break below which could usher in new weakness, analysts said.

Matthew Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak noted that he would wait for confirmation that any break below 92 is significant before assuming further weakness, but added that if the index does fall below that level “in any meaningful way, it’s going to be very bearish for the greenback on a technical basis”.

Analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman said that if the index breaks its September low, there is little support until its low from February 2018.

The Reuters dollar index showed the greenback falling to a more than two-year low of 91.737 on Sept. 1. It fell to 88.251 in February 2018, which was the lowest since December 2014.

The euro was last down 0.2% at $1.183.

Based on the Reuters dollar index, the next target for the euro is likely its September high near $1.2010, followed by the February 2018 high of $1.2555, Brown Brothers Harriman said.

The New Zealand dollar surged to a two-year high after strong retail sales data, before falling back to be little changed on the day at 0.6930 per dollar.

The pound was boosted by hopes for a Brexit deal. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator said that fundamental divergences remain but both sides were pushing hard for a deal.

Sterling was last 0.1% up at $1.33.

Dollar stuck near support, New Zealand dollar strikes two-year high

The U.S. dollar eased on Monday as the prospect of an early rollout of coronavirus vaccines offset concerns about economic restrictions to control the spread of the virus, favoring risk assets for the moment.

A holiday in Japan kept most majors contained, though the New Zealand dollar stormed to a two-year top of $0.6962 as super-strong retail sales data quashed the risk of further policy easing and left yields attractively high.

The euro edged up to $1.1872, having repeatedly failed to break above $1.1893 resistance last week. It needs to clear the November top of $1.1919 to extend its uptrend.

Analysts at Capital Economics are bullish on the single currency’s longer-term outlook.

“We think that the exchange rate will rise further over the next few years against a backdrop of lower euro-zone stability risks; an increased real yield gap between the euro-zone and the U.S.; and a continued recovery in the global economy,” they wrote in a note.

They lifted their forecasts for the euro and now see it at $1.2500 by the end of 2021 and $1.3000 at the close of 2022, up from $1.2000 and $1.2500 previously.

The dollar has also been drifting slowly lower on the Japanese yen and last stood at 103.74, just above chart support at 103.62. A break there would see a re-test of the November trough of 103.16, which was the lowest since the market turmoil of March.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was a shade softer at 92.266 and again uncomfortably close to support at 92.129 and 91.373.

Promising news on vaccines have been weighing on the safe-haven dollar. The first people in the United States could receive a Covid-19 vaccine a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration grants approval in mid-December.

And Britain could give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine this week.

On the other hand, millions of Americans are expected to ignore warnings to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday, while Germany might have to extend its lockdown until mid-December.

The rash of coronavirus restrictions across the United States has stoked speculation the Federal Reserve might have to ease monetary policy further, particularly with no fiscal stimulus deal in sight.

Last week’s surprise move by the U.S. Treasury Department to end some emergency lending programs only added to the speculation.

That will heighten the focus on the minutes of the U.S. central bank’s last policy meeting, which are due to be released on Wednesday. The minutes are expected to confirm Fed policymakers discussed adding to the bank’s asset-buying plans.

“The minutes should help gauge whether our call for a lengthening of the maturity mix as soon as the December meeting remains on track,” analysts at TD Securities wrote in a note.

Dollar halts slide as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin calls time on emergency funds

The dollar halted its slide on Friday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called an end to some of the Federal Reserve’s pandemic lending, derailing a risk rally and surprising investors who had counted on central bank support.

The announcement damped a previously positive mood after reports that U.S.

Senate Republican and Democrat leaders had agreed to resume negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package.

While Mnuchin’s move was aimed at re-appropriating some $455 billion allocated to Treasury under the CARES Act in the spring for other spending, some investors were concerned about ending programs that they think have played a vital role in reassuring markets.

The Fed also said it “would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop,” a rare open confrontation with the government.

“Investors have banked on the MLF (Municipal Liquidity Facility) being a reliable, emergency lender to our (municipal bond) market’s core borrowers. It has taken the idea of a payment default or catastrophic budget problem off the table,” said Matt Fabian, partner at Municipal Market Analytics at Westport, Connecticut, in the United States.

“Without the MLF, the market won’t collapse, but it will lack some resilience if its tested by a selloff or more pronounced credit fears.”

Also souring risk appetite, California ordered a curfew placed on all indoor social gatherings and non-essential activities outside the home across most of the state in a major escalation of measures to curb an alarming surge in coronavirus infections.

For over a week, the dollar has lost ground against riskier currencies due to coronavirus vaccine breakthroughs and hopes of reduced political uncertainty after the U.S. election.

The dollar index stood at 92.306, off Thursday’s low of 92.236, though it is still down 0.3% on the week.

The euro fetched $1.1874, flat on the day but not far from this week’s high of $1.18935 touched on Tuesday and up 0.3% on week.

The yen stood at 103.80 per dollar, retaining its weekly gain of 0.8%.

The reaction in currency markets, however, has been limited compared with the U.S. stocks and bond markets.

“There is a feeling that, at the end of the day, financial markets will remain solid and detached from the troubles in the real economy. A correction in stock prices was natural given their recent gains,” said Tatsuya Chiba, manager of forex at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank.

“For now we have to see whether stocks markets’ retreat will prove to be a temporary one,” he said.

The British pound was on the defensive after the Times newspaper reported that European leaders will urge the European Commission to publish no-deal Brexit plans as the year-end deadline approaches.

The currency changed hands at $1.3258. Against the euro, it stood at 0.8955 pound per euro, wiping its gains made over the past two days.

Outside the dollar index basket currencies, the Australian dollar, which is sensitive to economic sentiment, stood little changed at $0.7284, having erased most of its gains this week.

The offshore Chinese yuan was flat at 6.5716 to the dollar after hitting a 2 1/2-year high of 6.5318 on Wednesday.

The Turkish lira held firm following a 2.3% jump on Thursday after the central bank, under new governor Naci Agbal, delivered a big rate hike as expected and pledged to remain tough on inflation.

The lira changed hands at 7.5450 to the dollar, near its highest level in almost two months. The lira is the best performing currency so far this month.

Elsewhere, bitcoin retained its bullish tone, trading at $17,971, near a three-year high touched on Wednesday.

Dollar falls for 5th day as vaccine hopes outweigh spike in Covid cases

The dollar slipped for a fifth straight session on Wednesday, sliding to a more than one-week low, as positive vaccine news offset the surge in coronavirus cases and tighter economic restrictions across the United States and Europe.

The market showed a little more appetite for risk-taking, with gains in currencies that rise in times of improving sentiment such as sterling, the New Zealand dollar, and Norwegian crown.

Pfizer announced that the final results from the late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine showed it was 95% effective, giving relief to a pandemic-weary market . That followed news that Moderna Inc released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing 94.5% effectiveness.

That said, the number of reported global daily deaths from the coronavirus stood at 10,816 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest single-day death count. The United States, the worst-affected country worldwide, has reported about 11.38 million infections and 248,574 deaths since the pandemic started.

“A spike in COVID cases is generally good for the dollar and other safe-haven currencies like the yen and Swiss franc, but the positive vaccine news roughly counters that,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The dollar overall is expected to weaken as global economies improve once the vaccine gets widely distributed and as the Federal Reserve stands ready to provide more easing that should further erode the value of the greenback.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday there was “a long way to go” to economic recovery and a retail sales report released by the U.S. Commerce Department showed spending decelerating.

In mid-morning trading, the dollar index slipped 0.1% to 92.298, after dropping as low as 92.207, its lowest level since Nov. 9.

Bitcoin, sometimes regarded as a safe haven, or at least a hedge against inflation, rose to more than $18,000 for the first time in nearly three years. It last stood around $17,594, down 0.4%.

The euro was slightly up on the day at $1.1869 rising, despite Poland and Hungary blocking the European Union’s 1.8 trillion-euro ($2.14 trillion) financial package to revive an economy depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sterling, meanwhile, rose 0.3% versus the dollar to $1.3297 in the wake of a report from the Sun newspaper that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was told by British negotiators to expect a Brussels trade deal early next week, with “a possible landing zone” as soon as next Tuesday.

The dollar though fell 0.3% against the yen to 103.865 , with the Japanese currency recouping much of the losses it suffered last week after Pfizer announced it had developed a working COVID-19 vaccine.

China’s offshore yuan surged to its highest in more than two years against the dollar on Wednesday.

The greenback though recovered to trade 0.2% higher at 6.5619 amid dollar-buying by major state-owned banks in what some traders suspected was an effort to slow the Chinese currency’s advance towards 6.5-per dollar.

Dollar steadies but concerns about coronavirus and Biden transition loom

The dollar steadied against most currencies on Tuesday as a return of coronavirus restrictions in some U.S. states and worries about a smooth transition for President-elect Joe Biden offset optimism about a coronavirus vaccine.

The British pound edged higher on media reports the UK could reach a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union by early next week.

Moderna became the second U.S. pharmaceutical company in a week to report positive results from trials of a Covid-19 vaccine, considered necessary to eradicate the pandemic.

Last week, encouraging progress in coronavirus vaccine testing helped the dollar rise against the safe-harbor yen and the Swiss franc.

However, reaction in the currency market to subsequent developments has been subdued as the United States struggles to contain a second wave of infections, and with vaccine distribution not expected any time soon.

There is also some uncertainty about Biden’s plans to tackle the coronavirus and stimulate the economy as the Trump administration resists cooperation with Biden’s transition team.

“The market reaction has been limited because it will take time to distribute the vaccine, and there is uncertainty about U.S. politics,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

“Unless we clear that hurdle, the dollar won’t rise. The dollar looks particularly weak against the yuan.”

The dollar was quoted at $1.1858 per euro, on course for its fourth straight session of declines.

Sterling edged up to $1.3221 and also gained to 89.71 pence per euro.

The greenback held steady at 104.52 yen. Investors in the dollar are looking ahead to the release of U.S. retail sales and industrial production later on Tuesday to gauge the health of the economic recovery.

However, policymakers’ response to a record number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in several U.S. states is likely to remain of greater concern.

The dollar index against a basket of major currencies stood at 92.503, close to a one-week low.

New infections are also increasing in Britain, Europe, and Japan, which further clouds the economic outlook.

The Australian dollar held onto overnight gains against the greenback, while the New Zealand dollar hit its strongest in more than a year as investors scaled back bets for additional interest rate cuts.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s most recent policy meeting showed the central bank was ready to provide yet more policy stimulus if needed after cutting rates to record lows.

The onshore yuan edged up to 6.5678 per dollar, approaching a 28-month high set last week, as positive economic data continues to support the currency.

Dollar loses ground, pound gains as traders eye Brexit talks

The dollar lost ground against other major currencies on Monday, while the pound and the euro drew strength from signs that Britain and the European Union could make progress negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal.

Sentiment across markets were mixed, caught between fears of a resurgence of global coronavirus cases and hopes for a working vaccine that could help reignite global growth.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar softened marginally, fetching 92.565 in Asian trade.

Hopes for Brexit compromise emerged after news Dominic Cummings, the most powerful adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, would leave Downing Street in mid-December.

Meanwhile, Britain’s top Brexit negotiator David Frost said on Sunday that Britain and the EU have made some progress in their post-Brexit trade deal negotiations but might not succeed in getting an agreement.

“This topic remains an uncertain catalyst … The market needs to be cautious that prices could fluctuate nervously on news,” said Sumino Kamei, senior analyst at MUFG Bank.

The British pound edged higher against the dollar, changing hands at 1.3226 per dollar, and against the common currency as well, and last stood at 89.61 pence per euro. The euro last sat 0.16% higher at 1.1854 per dollar.

Global markets surged last week on optimism that a vaccine for Covid-19 would be available soon, with the dollar rising as traders quit their long-yen positions.

“Currency moves which were prompted by vaccine news have taken a pause. With no additional, positive news on the vaccine, U.S. interest rates and stocks went into correction mode at the end of the week, and dollar/yen fell,” Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities said.

The yen edged higher at 104.49 per dollar, having posted its worst weekly performance since early June last week.

Undermining the greenback more broadly, the total virus cases in the U.S. surpassed 11 million on Sunday as the pace of the pandemic quickened.

While U.S. President Donald Trump still refused to concede defeat in the Nov.3 election, some traders have begun shifting their attention to contenders for President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet, analysts said.

“Over the weekend, uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election has declined as it became more certain that Joe Biden secured more votes, and it’s easier for traders to take risks on hopes that the next administration would soon take measures against the coronavirus,” Mizuho Securities’ Yamamoto said.

The dollar could strengthen against the yen if U.S. bonds and stocks maintain their upward moment, he added.

Trump on Sunday briefly acknowledged losing the election in a morning Twitter post but then backtracked, saying he concedes “nothing” and vowing to keep up a court fight that election-law experts say is unlikely to succeed.

Meanwhile, Biden focused on tackling the coronavirus pandemic and set meetings with pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines.

Australian dollar traders awaited upcoming events by the Reserve Bank of Australia, with Governor Philip Lowe scheduled to speak later in the day, while the central bank’s November meeting minutes are due on Tuesday.

Analysts also said the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal signed by 15 Asia-Pacific economies on Sunday partly helped risk appetite, as investors hoped the world’s biggest trade pact would boost trades and economic ties.

The Aussie firmed marginally at $0.7287 per dollar in Asian trade, buoyed by stronger equities. The kiwi was up 0.42% to $0.6874, near a 20-month high of $0.6915 marked on Thursday.

Data on Monday showed signs of economic recovery in China and Japan, the world’s second and third largest economies. China’s industrial output rose by a faster-than-expected 6.9% in October, while Japan’s economy grew at its fastest pace on record in the third quarter.

The Chinese yuan firmed following the upbeat economic data, rising to 6.5818 per dollar, hitting its one-week high.