By Aaron Hankin
PBOC sets yuan lower, inching dollar toward 7.00 yuan
The U.S. dollar traded lower Thursday, putting the currency on track to book its third consecutive losing session.
The ICE Dollar Index , a measure of the dollar against six of its nearest rivals, is trading down 0.5% to 95.033, around a 10-day low.
The greenback, which tends to rise in turbulent times, is lagging behind as the public spat between President Donald Trump and the Federal Reserve continues. On Thursday, Trump said the Fed was "getting a little too cute, " adding "it's ridiculous what they're doing."
And in a White House briefing Thursday afternoon, the president addressed his concerns on the rising U.S. dollar.
"The dollar is very strong, very powerful. And that causes a little difficulty with doing business, frankly. A strong dollar doesn't necessarily mean all good, but we do have a very strong dollar," he said.
Trump's comments come after U.S. equities had their worst day in more than eight months Wednesday, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq , which slumped more than 4% and closed below its 200-day moving average for the first time since July 2016.
"The USD is buckling under political pressure from Presidents Trump's 'Fed is crazy' comment, but indeed the severity of this equity rout could bring the hawkish Fed narrative into question," wrote Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at Oanda.
The Japanese yen, arguably the No. 1 haven currency, was trading at Yen112.06 versus Yen112.26 on Wednesday and was on track for its sixth consecutive winning session against the buck.
Elsewhere, the euro has extended its resurgence. After making a three-week nadir on Monday, the shared currency was trading 0.6% higher at $1.1592, compared with $1.1520 late Wednesday.
"There's enough risk weighing down the euro to sink a battleship, but the single unit has caught a reprieve from broad-based USD selling rather than any significant shift in EU sentiment. Which makes it a prime target for a beat on [Thursday's] CPI," Innes said.
The People's Bank of China nudged the yuan to 6.9098 per dollar, from 6.9072 on the prior session, inching toward the psychological level at 7.00.
"Amid the continued trade spat between the U.S. and China, more losses are expected in the China yuan with focus on the psychological 7.00 level. Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), a proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan's value, trades at 7.0490 and thus confirming a potential move through the 7.00 area," wrote Justin McQueen, currency analysts at DailyFX.
Check out: Here's why traders think the Chinese yuan could reach a record low against the dollar
The British pound is holding steady above $1.32 as concerns around Brexit have been put on the back burner given the turmoil in global equities. Sterling was last changing hands as $1.3231 compared with $1.3192 Wednesday.
The Canadian dollar is trading marginally higher at C$1.3039 compared with C$1.3068 on Wednesday.