Dollar records best month against yen in seven years

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LONDON (Nov 30): The dollar edged up on Wednesday as US Treasury yields resumed their rise after three down days, with the greenback on track for its strongest performance against the yen in seven years.

The dollar hit its highest level against a basket of major currencies for almost 14 years last week, after a boost from Donald Trump's shock US election win that drove debt yields higher on expectations of more fiscal spending, higher inflation and a faster pace of monetary tightening.

The US currency has rallied almost 8% versus the yen since the start of November, its strongest month since December 2009, and more than 3% against the euro, its best month in a year.

This week, however, the dollar has stalled somewhat, trading below last week's peak, but the index was up 0.2% on Wednesday.

It was helped by data on Tuesday that saw the US third quarter GDP revised up and November consumer confidence come in stronger than expected. Friday will see the most-watched set-piece data point of the month: the non-farm payrolls report.

"The market is a little bit more cautious — dollar strength has mainly been driven by expectations, so these can only carry you so far," Commerzbank currency strategist Esther Reichelt said.

"In the end we want to see some facts to show these changed expectations are justified, and it's still too early for that. I would expect for this reason the upcoming data to be quite important."

Against the yen — which Reichelt said has also been pushed down this month by the Bank of Japan's decision to implement a new monetary policy tool, targeting the yield curve — the dollar was up a third of a percent at 112.78 yen as US Treasury yields ticked higher, some way off last week's highs of 113.90 yen.

The dollar was up 0.1% against the euro at US$1.0641, ahead of euro zone flash inflation data due at 1000 GMT.

Analysts said dollar gains were being capped, though, by a meeting by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) beginning at 1000 GMT that could spark volatility.

Many analysts believe OPEC will cobble together a deal to cut some production at its meeting in Vienna. But doubts still lingered as Iran and Iraq, OPEC's second-largest and third-largest producers, have resisted pressure from the group's de facto leader Saudi Arabia to curtail output.