The U.S. dollar headed higher on Monday morning despite the potential damage from Hurricane Irma, as President Donald Trump put pressure on Congress to speed up his overhaul of the tax system, placing the urgency on the hurricane and its expected economic impact which can be tempered by the tax reforms.
Traders are also questioning the possibility of a final interest rate hike in 2017 which may be delayed due to the economic havoc wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in recent weeks. In their most recent project, Federal Reserve officers had hinted to an additional rate hike, but weak inflation data and recent economic challenges have called this into question.
The dollar was higher against most of its primary trading partners before the London open. The euro was down 0.17 percent against the greenback, trading at $1.2013. The dollar gained 0.53 percent against the yen as of 7:20 a.m. GMT, to trade at 108.40, still trading notably lower than the 109 range it saw last week. The dollar was also up against the Chinese yuan, which retreated from a 21-month high set on Friday. The yuan is up 6.8 percent this year.
Oil Prices Also Edge Up
Oil prices were also higher during Monday’s Asian session after the Saudi Arabian oil minister discussed the possibility of extending the production cut past March 2018 in a meeting with Kazakh and Venezuelan oil officials on Sunday. U.S. WTI futures were up 0.88 percent to $47.90 per barrel and Brent futures were up 0.54 percent to $54.08 per barrel. Traders remain concerned about how the drop in U.S. oil refining due to the hurricanes will impact global production, though it appears that thus far other countries have been able to fill the gap left by U.S. refineries.