Dollar skids on heightened U.S.-China trade tension

* Trump orders U.S. companies to seek alternatives to China
* China imposes more tariffs on additional U.S. goods
* Fed's Powell says Fed to act as appropriate
* Fed's Powell's speech enrages Trump
* September rate cut fully priced in
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019

(Adds comment, updates prices)
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The dollar stumbled on Friday after President Donald Trump ordered U.S.
companies to start looking for an alternative to China as Beijing imposed more tariffs on American goods,
further exacerbating a prolonged trade war between the world's two largest economies.
That triggered mass selling in the dollar, which fell from a three-week high against the euro and to
one-week troughs versus the Japanese yen and Swiss franc. Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields
also fell sharply.
The dollar, however, strengthened against the Chinese yuan in the offshore market, hitting a two-week
"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to
China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA," Trump wrote on
Trump cannot legally compel U.S. companies to abandon China immediately. He gave no detail on how he
might proceed with any such order.
His tweet followed China's announcement on Friday of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of
U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates.
"All of this adds to uncertainty in terms of geopolitics," said Fran Rodilosso, head of fixed income
portfolio management at VanEck in New York. "Obviously, the uncertainty is with regard to global growth
and that has been everyone's chief concern."
Trump's comments overshadowed a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who did not announce a
major stimulus measure to ease a worsening global economic outlook, but set the stage for further interest
rate cuts.
Powell said the U.S. economy was in a "favorable place" and the Fed would "act as appropriate" to keep
the economic expansion on track.
"Fed Chairman Powell's speech at Jackson Hole suggests that he is leaning toward a September rate cut,
but he did not lay out a reaction function regarding the Fed's rate path beyond September," said Philip
Marey, senior U.S. strategist, at Rabobank. The Fed's annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming,
ends on Saturday.
Trump, however, was enraged by Powell's speech, saying he was not sure who was the bigger enemy, the
U.S. central bank chief or Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
"As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what
I am doing, which will be announced shortly," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"By escalating the trade war, President Trump will get what he wants from the Fed: lower rates," said
Rabobank's Marey.
In afternoon trading, the euro rose 0.6% to $1.1148, after touching a three-week low of
$1.1052. An index that tracks the dollar against six major currencies was down 0.6% at 97.624.
The dollar fell to a one-week low against the yen and was last down 1.1% at 105.32. It earlier
hit a one-week high of 106.73 yen.
Against the Chinese yuan, the dollar was up 0.6% at 7.1314 yuan, after touching a two-week peak of

Currency bid prices at 3:57PM (1957 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Previous Change
Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1148 $1.1078 +0.63% -2.80% +1.1153 +1.1052
Dollar/Yen JPY= 105.3000 106.4200 -1.05% -4.50% +106.7300 +105.2600
Euro/Yen EURJPY= 117.38 117.94 -0.47% -7.00% +118.1500 +117.2900
Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9744 0.9835 -0.93% -0.71% +0.9877 +0.9736
Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2285 1.2250 +0.29% -3.70% +1.2293 +1.2196
Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3288 1.3302 -0.11% -2.56% +1.3338 +1.3277
Australian/Doll AUD= 0.6751 0.6756 -0.07% -4.23% +0.6777 +0.6737
Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.0862 1.0896 -0.31% -3.48% +1.0928 +1.0856
Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.9072 0.9041 +0.34% +0.98% +0.9094 +0.9038
NZ NZD= 0.6391 0.6363 +0.44% -4.85% +0.6409 +0.6366
Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.9567 8.9776 -0.23% +3.68% +9.0137 +8.9333
Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.9860 9.9449 +0.41% +0.81% +9.9978 +9.9225
Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.6126 9.6767 -0.06% +7.24% +9.6983 +9.6077
Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.7154 10.7215 -0.06% +4.40% +10.7335 +10.6910

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Bernadette Baum and Richard Chang)

First Published: 2019-08-23 03:15:47
Updated 2019-08-23 22:16:40

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