Dollar Poised for Biggest Weekly Gain Since January

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar headed for its biggest weekly gain versus the euro in more than six months before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speak today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The yen gained against most of its 16 major peers after A Russian aid convoy crossed the border into Ukraine, which said it hadn’t consented to the move, The U.S. currency retreated yesterday from an 11-month high against the euro, reached after minutes this week of the Fed’s July meeting suggested policy makers may increase interest rates sooner than anticipated.

“G-10 ranges were narrow ahead of Yellen in a short while,” Greg Anderson, head of global foreign-exchange strategy at Bank of Montreal, said in an e-mail. “The Ukraine’s insistence that Russia’s aid convoy should be viewed as an invasion resulted in equity market weakness and JPY strength.”

The dollar climbed 0.1 percent to $1.3270 per euro as of 8:55 a.m. New York time from yesterday, when it reached $1.3242, the strongest level since Sept. 10. The U.S. currency was still set for a 1 percent weekly advance, the biggest since the period ended Jan. 31.

The yen gained 0.1 percent to 103.78 per dollar and strengthened 0.2 percent to 137.72 per euro.

Ukraine Tension

Russia is invading under the cover of the aid trucks, said Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the head of Ukraine’s security council, according to the Interfax news service. More than 150 trucks entered the country through a border checkpoint in a rebel-held area. Ukraine allowed the convoy to enter to avoid provocations after failing to discuss its safety with the Russian side, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry in Kiev said in a statement.

The Russian ruble declined 0.5 percent to 41.5492 against the central bank’s target basket of dollars and euros. Ukraine’s hryvnia slumped 2.5 percent to 13.5500 per dollar.

The market “is weary of adding to longs ahead of Yellen,” Chris Turner, head of currency strategy at ING Groep NV in London. A long position is a bet an asset will rise. “Once that’s out of the way, we will probably see short-dated interest rates rise into the September Fed meeting and the dollar staying quite supported. If we were to see a selloff this afternoon, there will be plenty of buyers around” afterward.

The dollar may strengthen to $1.31 against the euro by the Sept. 17 Fed meeting and $1.28 by year-end, Turner said.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 major counterparts, was little changed at 1,027.50 from yesterday, when it reached 1,029.64, the most since Feb. 4.

Yellen Speech

Yellen is scheduled to deliver a speech titled “Labor Markets” at the Jackson Hole symposium. The three-day meeting of central bankers and economists began yesterday.

Futures traders saw about a 51 percent chance the Fed will raise its key interest rate to at least 0.5 percent by July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The central bank has kept its benchmark rate at almost zero since December 2008.

“Expectation that Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech will be less hawkish at today’s Jackson Hole meeting is triggering a weaker dollar,” said Jude Noh, chief currency trader for Suhyup Bank in Seoul. “Investors are adjusting positions.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrea Wong in New York at awong268@bloomberg.net; Eshe Nelson in London at enelson32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net Paul Cox, Greg Storey