Dollar slips for the 4th day after G-20 meet

Gold prices have hit a two-week high as the US dollar continues to edge lower

Investor scepticism over how much the U.S. Federal Reserve will be able to raise rates weighed on the dollar too, although with the exception of gold, the greenback's weakness failed to give a fillip to commodities, as is often the case.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.3 per cent to US$1,234.10.

The euro was steady on the day at $1.0741 but remained shy of last week's $1.0782.

"As the world's number one economy is preparing to set significant barriers against the world, investors are increasingly anxious", she said.

Market analysts put the latest decline - and caution in equity markets - down to the weekend's G20 communiqué, which dropped an explicit statement of opposition to protectionist trade policies.

Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade in their communiques on Saturday.

In early trade, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.1 percent, staying near a 15-month high it touched on Monday, with South Korean shares (.KS11) hitting two-year highs.

Sterling edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2370, but remained well shy of its Monday high of $1.2436, its loftiest peak since February 28, after Prime Minister Theresa May said she will trigger Britain's separation proceedings with the European Union on March 29, launching two years of Brexit negotiations.

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"The dollar is feeling pressure from lower U.S. Treasury yields", said Mitsuo Imaizumi, Tokyo-based chief foreign-exchange strategist for Daiwa Securities.

Currency markets are also focused on a raft of speeches by Fed officials this week, including Chicago's Charles Evans on Tuesday and Friday, Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday, Dallas's Robert Kaplan and Minneapolis's Neel Kashkari on Friday and New York's William Dudley on Saturday.

"Sentiment towards the dollar has deteriorated significantly", Societe Generale FX analysts said in a note.

The Singapore dollar strengthened against the USA dollar on Monday (March 20), going below the US$1 = S$1.40 mark for the first time in more than four months.

Gold prices have rebounded more than US$35 from its low hit before the policy decision to boost rates last Wednesday, while the dollar has fallen 1.7 per cent from its high of 101.71 hit the same day.

Japan's Nikkei (.N225) dropped 0.8 percent, weighed by financial stocks, which were hurt by lower US yields and exporter stocks, which fell on the yen's gains against the dollar.

Opinion polls out over the weekend showed centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen running neck and neck for the first round of voting in France's presidential election, due April 23.

Oil prices also fell on Monday after reports indicated that OPEC did not cut production as much as originally promised and that US drilling continued to increase.

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