France said it will submit a Russian-backed plan to confiscate Syria’s chemical weapons to the United Nations, as Interfax reported that Bashar al-Assad’s government accepted the proposal.
“We’re waiting for that proposal, but we’re not waiting for long,” Kerry told the House Armed Services Committee today. “It has to be swift, it has to be real, it has to be verifiable. It cannot be a delaying tactic.”
The “credible threat of force” by the U.S. is the only reason that Syria and its ally, Russia, are even considering a possible diplomatic solution, Kerry said.
The yen also weakened as minutes of the BOJ’s Aug. 7-8 meeting showed policy board members said bond purchases were putting downward pressure on yields and consumer-price expectations have turned favorable.
“It seems like the U.S. is considering other options, other than striking, mainly that Russian proposal and I think that’s giving markets more comfort,” Sireen Harajli, a foreign- exchange strategist at Mizuho Bank in New York, said in a telephone interview. “In terms of the effect on the dollar, if that situation intensifies, then you’re going to see safe-haven buying.”
The yen has declined 2.3% in the past week, the worst performer of 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation Weighted Indexes. The dollar dropped 1.4% and the euro fell 0.7%.
The Aussie strengthened for a third day against its U.S. counterpart after an index of business confidence improved to the highest since May 2011 as the prospect of a change in government lifted sentiment.
The confidence index for August jumped to 6 from minus 3, according to a National Australia Bank Ltd. survey released today. Factory production in China increased 10.4% last month from a year earlier, compared with a 9.7% gain in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing.
“The Aussie dollar is reacting positively to data out of China,” said Takuya Kawabata, an analyst at Gaitame.com Research Institute Ltd. in Tokyo. “Expectations that China’s economic recovery is underway are building.”
Australia’s dollar rose 0.9% to 93.10 cents after appreciating the highest since July 24.
Trading in over-the-counter foreign-exchange options totaled $14 billion, compared with $21.1 billion yesterday, according to data reported by U.S. banks to the Depository Trust Clearing Corp. and tracked by Bloomberg. Volume in options on the U.S. dollar-yen exchange rate amounted to $3.6 billion, the largest share of trades at 25.7%. Options on the Aussie- U.S. dollar rate totaled $2 billion, or 14.6%.
Greenback-yen options trading was 38% less than the average for the past five Mondays at a similar time in the day, according to Bloomberg analysis. Aussie-U.S. dollar options trading was 17.6% less than average.