June 22, 2018 / 1:33 AM / 10 months ago

FOREX-Dollar drops off 11-month high; sterling bounces after hawkish BOE

* Weak Philly Fed data, lower U.S. yields pressure dollar

* Sterling jumps after BOE keeps rates but turns hawkish

* Canada’s loonie hits new 1-year low on trade worries, lower oil

* Mexican peso rises after central bank hikes rates

* OPEC meeting, trade wars in focus

By Tomo Uetake

TOKYO, June 22 (Reuters) - The dollar fell from an 11-month peak against a basket of major currencies as investors took profits in early Asian trade on Friday, while sterling rebounded from a seven-month low after a slightly hawkish tilt from the Bank of England surprised the market.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index fell sharply to a 1-1/2 year low, raising concern about the world’s largest economy and prompting some traders to book profits on bullish dollar bets, analysts said.

“The weak Philly Fed index reinforced fears that President Trump’s trade war would hurt the U.S. economic outlook and worsened the mood,” said Kengo Suzuki, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities.

The Philadelphia Fed index on U.S. Mid-Atlantic business activity fell to 19.9 in June from 34.4 in May, its steepest fall since January 2014.

Lower yields on U.S. Treasuries and the euro finding chart support in the $1.15 area also contributed to the dollar’s weakness.

Escalation in the U.S.-China trade conflict had underpinned safe-haven support for the dollar in recent days. The Philly Fed weaker data dragged down U.S. Treasury yields, with the 10-year yield falling to 2.897 percent in North American trade overnight.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six other currencies, edged 0.1 percent lower to 94.792 on Friday, after touching 95.533, its highest level since last July.

The euro rebounded from a fresh 11-month low of $1.1508 it hit overnight after testing technical support in the $1.15 area. It last traded $1.1614, up 0.1 percent on the day.

The single currency had fallen on bets of a protracted period of monetary policy divergence between the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

In addition, the Italian government’s appointment on Thursday of two euro sceptics to head key finance committees reignited worries about anti-euro voices in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.

Against the yen, the greenback was little changed and last traded 109.95 yen.

The British pound rose 0.7 percent to $1.3270 overnight, recovering from a seven-month trough, after BOE Chief Economist Andy Haldane unexpectedly joined the minority of policymakers calling for rates to rise to 0.75 percent, citing concerns about growing wage pressure.

Sterling last traded 1.3262, not far from Thursday’s high.

The Canadian dollar hit a fresh one-year low of C$ 1.3336 overnight, pressured by lower oil prices and an uncertain outlook for trade, with investors eyeing a meeting of major oil producers.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Friday to decide output policy amid calls from top consumers such as the United States, China and India to cool down oil prices and support the world economy by producing more crude.

Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, has so far been the main barrier to a new deal as it said OPEC was unlikely to reach an agreement and should reject pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to pump more oil.

Elsewhere, the Mexican peso hit 20.2000 peso per dollar , its strongest level in more than two weeks after Mexico’s central bank increased benchmark rates by a quarter point to 7.75 percent in a bid to hold down inflation. (Reporting by Tomo Uetake Editing by Eric Meijer)

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