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Dollar broadly lower after Trump remarks

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The dollar traded lower against a basket of major peers on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was “not thrilled” with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for raising interest rates.

The dollar was also soft as investors pulled out of the safe-haven currency ahead of anticipated talks this week between China and the United States, which some market participants believe might lead to an easing in their escalating trade dispute.

The dollar index against a basket of six other currencies fell 0.37 percent to 95.554 as of 0345 GMT after touching as low as 95.440, its lowest level since Aug. 9.

“At the moment, markets fear that Trump may have some impact on the Fed’s policy,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“Especially the dollar/yen, which is sensitive to the rate moves of the United States, remains under pressure.”

The yen was basically flat at 110.08 yen as of 0345 GMT, paring gains after touching as high as 109.775 yen earlier. The dollar on Tuesday fell below the psychologically-significant 110 yen level for the first time since June 28.

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The greenback slipped after Trump said in a Reuters interview on Monday that he was “not thrilled” with Powell’s raising of interest rates. Trump nominated Powell last year to replace former Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

The president spooked investors in July when he criticised the Fed over tightening monetary policy. On Monday, he said the Fed should be more accommodating on interest rates.

Mizuho Securities’ Yamamoto said Fed officials don’t seem to be influenced by Trump’s comments.

“As long as the U.S. economy is okay…then I think there is no reason to stop the rate hikes from the Fed’s point of view,” he said.

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Trump also said the U.S. central bank should do more to help him to boost the economy, while he also accused China and Europe of manipulating their respective currencies.

Escalating trade tensions between the United States and its trading partners and a plunge in the Turkish lira had pushed the dollar index to 96.984 on Aug. 15, its highest since June 2017.

The dollar’s rally halted ahead of trade talks between Chinese and U.S. officials in Washington. The meetings, expected to take place mid-week, involve lower-level officials but are the first formal U.S.-China trade talks since June.

“It’s positive news that China and the United States are going to have negotiations. It isn’t bad for the renminbi and a plus for Chinese stocks,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

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On Tuesday, the offshore Chinese yuan was nearly flat against the greenback, edging 0.07 percent higher to 6.8326 per dollar as of 0347 GMT.

The euro, which had slipped to a 13-month low early last week amid concerns that the Turkish crisis could hurt European bank, gained on Tuesday.

The single currency rose 0.36 percent to $1.15225 as of 0347 GMT, giving up some gains after trading at $1.1544 during early morning trade.

Sera said the euro may have found support on buying from one or more institutional investors in Japan after traders returned to work on Monday after the country’s ‘bon’ holidays last week.

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“It’s necessary to watch carefully at what rate the euro settles,” Sera said.

The Australian dollar was 0.13 percent higher at $0.7350, proving resilient to turmoil in politics at home where Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull survived a leadership vote with a perilously narrow margin.

Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Walmart got a $2.2 billion tax cut — now it’s laying off workers

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Walmart announced it will lay off hundreds of workers in North Carolina despite receiving billions in tax cuts that the Republican Party and President Trump claimed would spur job growth.

The giant retailer will lay off about 570 employees and close its corporate office near the Charlotte airport, despite signing a 12-year lease just four years earlier, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

The work done at the Charlotte facility will be outsourced to a firm in Arkansas, according to the report.

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Amazon, Google and Facebook warrant antitrust scrutiny for many reasons – not just because they’re large

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There’s a growing chorus of U.S. politicians, antitrust scholars and consumer watchdogs calling for stricter antitrust treatment of Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants. Some even say they should be broken up.

Most recently, U.S. lawmakers launched a sweeping review to determine if these companies have become so big and powerful that they are stifling competition and harming consumers, while federal regulators are also gearing up to take action.

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Hacker used $35 computer to steal restricted NASA data

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A hacker used a tiny Raspberry Pi computer to infiltrate NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory network, stealing sensitive data and forcing the temporary disconnection of space-flight systems, the agency has revealed.

The April 2018 attack went undetected for nearly a year, according to an audit report issued on June 18, and an investigation is still underway to find the culprit.

A Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized device sold for about $35 that plugs into home televisions and is used mainly to teach coding to children and promote computing in developing countries.

Prior to detection, the attacker was able to exfiltrate 23 files amounting to approximately 500 megabytes of data, the report from NASA's Office of inspector General said.

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