Investing.com – The Aussie held gains in Asia on Monday despite weaker services PMI figures out of China after a week-long holiday and with markets shut in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
In China, the Caixin services PMI dipped to 50.6 in September, missing the 53.1 level expected and down from 52.7 in August.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.03% to 93.59.
On Wednesday, Fed minutes will be eyed for fresh indications on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike. Friday’s U.S. data on inflation and retail sales will also be in focus.
Markets will also be eyeing a speech by ECB head Mario Draghi for clues on when the central bank will shift away from its ultra-easy policy.
Last week, the dollar turned lower against a basket of the other major currencies on Friday amid fresh worries over tensions with North Korea, giving up earlier gains made after the U.S. jobs report for September showed higher than expected wage growth.
The dollar fell following reports on Friday that North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile, adding to fears over a potential conflict in the region.
The dollar earlier rose as the wage data from the U.S. jobs report for September was seen as potentially boosting inflation.
The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department reported, ending seven straight years of job growth. But the decline was driven by slower hiring due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, the lowest since 2001 and average hourly earnings rose 2.9% from a year earlier.
The uptick in wage inflation bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December.
Expectations that U.S. rates will rise help support the dollar by making U.S. assets more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
Meanwhile, the pound fell to its lowest level in four weeks on Friday as concerns over divisions in the government over Brexit weighed.