TOKYO, May 22 (Reuters) – The dollar struggled to push ahead on Monday, holding near six-month lows against a basket of currencies as investors assessed the impact of U.S. political turmoil and a resurgent euro.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, inched up 0.1 percent from Friday’s late U.S. levels to 97.235. But it was hovering not far from the previous session’s 97.080, which was its lowest since Nov. 9.
Asian investors continued to monitor the situation on the Korean peninsula, after North Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Sunday, its second missile test in a week. South Korea said the launch dashed hopes for Seoul’s new liberal government’s aim for peace between the neighbors.
Pyongyang said on Monday it has successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile, indicating further advances in the ability to hit U.S. targets.
Against its perceived safe-haven Japanese counterpart, the dollar added 0.2 percent to 111.43 yen, though the latest developments in North Korea did not give the yen much of a lift.
“If there’s some escalation of the situation, we would likely see the yen rise,” said Ayako Sera, senior market economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust.
“But the main story for the markets is dollar weakness due to the U.S. political situation, and also the recent strength of the euro,” she said.
The euro inched…