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Dollar Broadly Lower after Strikes on Syria

- The dollar was broadly lower against a currency basket on Monday amid expectations that U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria on Friday would not lead to a broader escalation in the conflict there.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.3% to 89.24 by 05:57 AM ET (09:57 AM GMT).

Market sentiment was buoyed by relief that the missile strikes on Syria did not prompt a response from Russia, Syria’s main ally, but markets remained on the lookout for any signs of immediate military escalation of the conflict.

Investors also remained cautious as the U.S. prepared to announce a fresh round of economic sanctions on Russia related to its involvement in Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

The military strikes were made in response to a suspected chemical-weapon attack on civilians in Damascus and were the largest intervention yet by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The dollar was lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.21% to 107.17. The safe haven yen is often sought in times of market turmoil and political tensions.

The euro rose to the days higher against the softer dollar, with EUR/USD rising 0.32% to 1.2368.

The pound rose to fresh ten-week highs, with GBP/USD climbing 0.51% to 1.4310 amid expectations for a rate hike by the Bank of England as soon as next month.

Investors were looking ahead to the latest UK jobs report on Tuesday, followed by inflation on Wednesday and retail sales on Thursday which could cement expectations for a rate hike.

Elsewhere on the economic calendar, the U.S. was to release data on retail sales later in the day.

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