The dollar regained momentum with the US dollar index breaking 90 on Friday morning in Asia following news that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un may be willing to meet with President Donald Trump.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies gained 0.09% to reach 90.19 at 10 p.m. ET after a mid-week plunge caused by Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Earlier in the morning in Asia, the dollar index reached this week’s high at 90.27.
The dollar’s momentum was fuelled by reports that Kim Jong-un had pledged to suspend nuclear and missile testing, and that he would arrange a meeting with Trump by May, an unprecedented move that cooled down the tensions between the two countries. Trump has agreed to the meeting.
The dollar also got a lift from details of Trump’s tariff plan on imported steel and aluminum. Trump signed the plan that would be effective in 15 days but exempted Canada and Mexico and left the door open to exempt others.
The USD/JPY pair changed hands, trading 0.42% higher at 106.66. The chance of an easing in geopolitical concerns on the Korean peninsula prompted investors to sell the safe-haven yen and turned to the greenback.
The AUD/USD pair slid 0.09% to 0.7780. The Aussie declined on better-than-expected Chinese February CPI data that came in 2.9% y/y versus the expected 2.5%. China is Australia’s largest trading partner, and higher inflation in China could mean tighter lending conditions that affect Australia’s economy.
Elsewhere, the People’s bank of China set the fix rate of the yuan against the dollar at 6.3451 versus the previous rate of 6.3239. The USD/CNY traded at 6.3433, up 0.05%.