Dollar strengthens vs. yen, euro post U.S. GDP data

January 29, 2016 08:58 AM

The dollar rose on Friday after the release of a U.S. gross domestic product report that was in line with economists' expectations.

U.S. GDP grew at a 0.7% annual rate in the fourth quarter, after 2% growth in the third, but was near economists' revised expectations.

Lower oil prices have continued to undermine investment by energy firms and unseasonably mild weather cut into consumer spending on utilities and apparel. Growth also moderated as businesses stepped up efforts to reduce an inventory glut and as a robust dollar and tepid global demand weighed on exports.

The economy grew 2.4% in 2015 after a similar expansion in 2014.

The dollar touched a new U.S. session high against the yen, which was on track for its biggest daily fall since Oct. 31, 2014. The greenback rose more than 2% against the yen after the data to 121.28 yen, the highest rate for the dollar against the Japanese currency since December.

The euro fell to a session low against the dollar after the GDP report, dropping 0.6% to $1.0870.

The dollar index, tracking the dollar against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.9% to 99.419.

The dollar has been rising since the Bank of Japan stunned markets overnight by joining a handful of major central banks in adopting negative interest rates.

The turmoil in markets since the start of the year on fears of slowing global growth, collapsing oil prices and weakness in China, the world's No. 2 economy, have driven investors to seek safety in the yen, making the BOJ's 2% inflation target ever harder to reach.

The BOJ said it would apply a negative interest rate of minus 0.1% on selected current account deposits that financial institutions hold with it, effectively charging banks interest for parking excess deposits at the central bank.

The bank said it would cut interest rates further into negative territory if necessary.

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