The dollar struggled to gain ground on Friday as trade uncertainty and Middle East tensions rose .
After a Russian diplomat said his country’s forces would shoot down U.S. missiles launched at Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia to “get ready” for imminent military action in response to an alleged chemical attack over the weekend.
Trump and his national security aides discussed U.S. option in Syria on Thursday, but he cast doubts by tweeting that an attack on Syria “could be very soon or not so soon at all.”
Meanwhile Trump said late on Thursday that he would only consider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement if it was a “substantially better” deal than under former President Barack Obama. Trump had previously announced that he was pull out of the landmark trade agreement.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.07% to 89.43 by 5:01 AM ET (9:01 GMT).
The dollar gained ground against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.29% to 107.61. The safe haven yen is often sought out by investors in time of market turmoil and political tensions.
The euro rose with EUR/USD up 0.04% to 1.2331. Meanwhile, the pound was higher against the U.S. currency, with GBP/USD up 0.39% to 1.4283. The U.K. and European Union will begin trade talks next week on how trade will work after Brexit, diplomats said on Thursday.
The Australian dollar was higher, with AUD/USD up 0.54% to 0.87794 while NZD/USD increased 0.15% to 0.7387.