Euro gains as Draghi skips mention of currency strength

Euro gains as Draghi skips mention of currency strength”

Traders also reacted to disappointing durable goods orders data as well as comments from central bankers at the Fed's economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Risk-reversals for three month contracts on the Australian dollar are climbing for a second week and have recovered nearly half the drop from the -0.4975 July 27 peak down to the -1.2550 low on August 14.

Germany's DAX lost 0.11 per cent to 12,167.94.

USA stocks have been choppy this week amid caution ahead of Jackson Hole and uncertainty over the direction of Washington policy under President Donald Trump.

"Beyond Jackson Hole, attention will quickly shift to the USA debt ceiling; comments from President Trump indicate negotiations are contentious", says Sue Trinh, an FX strategist at Royal Bank of Canada.

Janet Yellen's speech is much anticipated, and could provide further insight into the likelihood of another interest hike in the USA during 2017.

A late-September deadline looms for the United States to raise its debt ceiling or risk defaulting on debt payments. The benchmark posted a 0.5% weekly gain. The franc had surged 0.9 percent on Friday.

Near 2030 GMT, the euro was up 1.1 per cent on the USA currency at $1.1926, its highest level since January 2015.

The moves for gold and the greenback, which often trade inversely as moves in the U.S. unit can influence the attractiveness of gold to holders of other currencies, came on the heels of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen that didn't offer clues on the central bank's monetary policy investors hoped for.

Yellen and Draghi will are scheduled to speak at 1400 and 1900 GMT respectively. The organizers, the Fed Up Coalition that has criticized the central bank's recent interest-rate hikes, want Trump to stick with Yellen.

Investors´ focus for the time being has shifted from geopolitics and political turmoil in Washington to monetary policy.

On the back of the weakness in the U.S. currency, gold prices rose to trade at $1,288.61 an ounce. Ahead of their speeches, trading was lackluster with the euro up 0.2 percent to $1.1820 and the dollar 0.1 percent firmer at 106.67 yen.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 234,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 232,000.

Ms Yellen said the bank was open to changes but they should remain modest.

The major averages eventually ended the session modestly lower.

NAR said existing home sales fell by 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 5.44 million in July after tumbling by 2 percent to a downwardly revised 5.51 million in June.

Oil prices rose as some petroleum producers shut down platforms due to Hurricane Harvey and gasoline prices gained in anticipation of refinery outages.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.7 percent to $47.75 a barrel, after Thursday's 2 percent slump.

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