Forex – Yen Weaker As Japan Politics Eyed for Snap Polls, North Korea Events – The yen held weaker in Asia on Monday on reports Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may call a snap election for October to build on support for his handling of tensions with North Korea.

USD/JPY changed hands at 111.20, up 0.34%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.8017, up 0.16%.

Elsewhere, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.N. Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear program and the United States may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.

And President Donald Trump tweeted: “I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!”

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 91.65.

China reported house prices data for August rose 8.3%, compared with a 9.7% increase seen in July.

Overnight, the dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Friday, after retail sales data unexpectedly undershot expectations in August while sterling rose to its highest since June last year adding to downside momentum in the greenback.

A sluggish month for motor vehicle sales weighed on retail sales growth in August, suggesting that consumer spending in the third-quarter may come under pressure, tapering investor expectation of strong third-quarter economic growth.

The Commerce Department said on Friday retail sales dipped 0.2% last month, missing expectations of a 0.1% rise.

The soft retail sales data came just hours ahead of manufacturing and consumer sentiment that topped forecasts.
The New York Empire State Manufacturing Survey declined to 24.4 for September from 25.2 previously, although this was significantly above consensus expectations of 19.0.

After hitting seven month highs in August, the consumer sentiment index, a survey of consumers by The University of Michigan, fell to 95.3 in September but handily topped expectations.

Sterling, meanwhile, added to gains from the previous session, hitting its highest level since the Brexit vote, piling further pressure on the greenback after Bank of England committee member Gertjan Vlieghe, said the “moment is approaching” for a rate increase.