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The dollar edged higher in early European trade Tuesday, but activity remains subdued ahead of this week’s key U.S. inflation release after Friday’s lackluster payrolls number.
At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was up 0.2% at 90.093, not far above 89.533, a 4 1/2-month low touched late last month.
EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2177, still above its three-week low of 1.2104 set on Friday, while USD/JPY gained 0.2% to 109.48, after Japan’s GDP contracted 1% quarter-on-quarter and 3.9% year-on-year for the first quarter of 2021. GBP/USD fell 0.2% to 1.4150 and the risk-sensitive AUD/USD was down 0.1% at 0.7745.
Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls release showed an increase of 559,000 jobs last month after a revised 278,000 gain in April, below the 650,000 gain expected.
Oil was down Tuesday morning in Asia, continuing Monday’s losses as the fragile state of the global economic recovery from COVID-19 impacts the fuel demand outlook.
Brent oil futures fell 0.77% to $70.94 by 11:38 PM ET (3:38 AM GMT), but remained above the $70-mark. WTI futures were down 0.74% to $68.72.
Investor worries were heightened by trade data from China, the world’s top oil importer, released on Monday. Imports grew 51.1% year-on-year in May, below the 51.5% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com but higher than April’s 43.1% growth.
“Chinese oil imports at a five-month low… would tend to confirm weakness in the Asia market,” Mizuho Securities director of energy futures Bob Yawger told Reuters.
Investors also await the outcome of talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal and potentially re-add Iranian crude to the global supply. Discussions are scheduled to resume in Vienna on Jun. 10.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in early-stage talks with China’s CATL and BYD about the supply of batteries for its planned electric vehicle, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
The discussions are subject to change and it is not clear if agreements with either CATL or BYD will be reached, said the people who declined to be named as the discussions are private.
Apple has made building manufacturing facilities in the United States a condition for potential battery suppliers, said two of the sources.
CATL, which supplies major car makers including Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc, is reluctant to build a U.S. factory due to political tensions between Washington and Beijing as well as cost concerns, the two people said.
It was not immediately clear if Apple is also talking to other battery makers.
Apple, which has yet to make a public announcement about its car plans, declined to comment. CATL, the world’s biggest automotive battery maker, and BYD, the world’s No. 4, also declined to comment.
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