September 24, 2019 / 12:58 AM / 24 days ago

Dollar dented by Trump impeachment talk, weak data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar fell across the board on Tuesday as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers called for an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, even as weak consumer confidence data added to worries over the prolonged China-U.S. trade war.

Trump confirmed on Tuesday he had withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine but denied he did so as leverage to get its president to initiate an investigation that would damage Democratic rival Joe Biden.

In Washington, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was meeting with fellow Democratic lawmakers to consider impeachment of the Republican president, who has withstood repeated scandals since taking office in 2017. Pelosi is scheduled to make a public statement at 5 p.m. (2100 GMT).

Pelosi will announce that the House is launching a formal inquiry into Trump’s impeachment, the Washington Post reported.

“The dollar is coming under a lot of pressure because it looks like political risk is really starting to seep back into the market,” said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy with BK Asset Management in New York.

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against six major currencies, was down 0.28%.

“The actual act of impeachment, the proceedings, the potential evidence that could come out here, all of that is massively risk-sensitive,” said Schlossberg.

Investors were taking refuge in the safe-haven Japanese yen and the Swiss franc as they awaited more clarity, he said.

The dollar was 0.48% lower against the Yen. The greenback fell 0.45% against the Swiss currency.

The dollar had started the U.S. session weak with the euro finding support from data that showed German business morale rose in September for the first time in six months.

The greenback took another hit after data showed U.S. consumer confidence fell in September, raising worries about the strength of the U.S. economy.

Consumer confidence fell by the most in nine months, more than expected, as Americans’ economic outlooks darkened in the face of the U.S.-China trade war, according to a private-sector report released on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A packet of U.S. five-dollar bills is inspected at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron//File Photo

Sterling gained after the UK Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks was unlawful, which was seen as making it less likely that Britain would leave the European Union without a transition agreement.

Investors, however, saw no signs of a sustainable rebound in UK assets and said the recent events further deepened the uncertainty now attached to the British currency.

The pound was up 0.53% against the dollar.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London; editing by Larry King and Sonya Hepinstall

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