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Dollar takes a hit over economic data worries

The US dollar found itself frantically trying to recover on Monday and into Tuesday after it hit what was close to its lowest point in a week against the Japanese yen.

The currency was also spotted in its lowest point for a fortnight with the single European currency.

Both declines were fuelled largely by questions over the reveal of negative economic data, as well as further concerns over what the consequences of the ongoing trade war might be.

One such release which came out recently was that manufacturing activity had declined for the fourth month in a row – while there was also some concern following a reduction in construction activity too.

The manufacturing data was a particular cause for concern in the markets.

It focused on information from the Institute for Supply Management, which described its index of national factory activity as falling by more than a fifth of a point to 48.1 over the course of last month.

In this particular metric, any figure below the level of 50 suggests that a contraction has occurred.

The effects on the dollar were noticeable and tangible.

In its pair against the euro, it was seen at $1.1076 at one stage.

This came after it went down by just over half a percentage point over the course of Monday – which was itself the largest drop in the pair since mid-September.

In the US dollar index, the dollar was resting at 97.887 – and this followed its least positive performance for a month and a half, which occurred yesterday.

The ongoing trade war between the US and China continues to be a pressing concern for the forex markets too.

It is now beginning to appear that tariffs are becoming more and more common – at least in the eyes of US President Donald Trump.

He has now focused his ire on the major South American economies of Argentina and Brazil, which will now face tariffs on imports of metals such as aluminium and steel.

In a post on the social networking site Twitter, Trump claimed that the two economies had been devaluing their currencies.

“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies, which is not good for our farmers”, he wrote.

However, Reuters reports that this is not wholly accurate – and that the two nations have been taking measures to bolster their national currencies in their pairs with the dollar.

The move from Trump is likely to be a concern in itself due to the additional trade barriers it creates – but it is also likely to be interpreted as a sign that the US-China trade war is nowhere close to being resolved.

The effects on the South American countries in question were diverse.

The Argentine peso remained fairly firm at just under 60 in its pair against the US dollar.

However, the Brazilian real was up by a third of a percentage point and was spotted at 4.2230.

This came after action was taken by the Brazilian central bank in the form of a spot auction.

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