Dollar Edges Higher In Asia As China CPI, Bank of Japan In Focus
The dollar edged up slightly in Asia on Wednesday with China prices data in focus as investors look ahead in 2018 to assess the chances of the People's Bank of China tightening monetary policy, while the Bank of Japan is also in focus.
USD/JPY changed hands at 112.71, up 0.04% as traders debated whether the dip in asset purchases by the Bank of Japan on Tuesday was a monetary policy signal or business as usual. AUD/USD traded at 0.7816, down 0.10%.
China reports consumer inflation data with a 0.4% increase seen on month for December and a 1.9% annual pace. Producer inflation likely rose 4.8% in December
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.16% to 92.23.
Overnight, the dollar continued its revival from nearly four-month lows against a basket of major currencies shrugging off the recent flurry of mixed Fed commentary on monetary policy outlook.
The U.S. Federal Reserve should leave interest rates at current low levels to support inflation and wage gains, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari said on Tuesday.
Kaskari’s inflationary concerns paled in comparison to his Boston counterpart Eric Rosengren who said Monday, the Fed should focus an “inflation range” between 1.5% to 3% as inflation has struggled to meet the Fed’s 2% target.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams, an FOMC voter, said recently three rates remained appropriate for 2018 amid expectations that President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans would give the economy a boost.
The dollar’s move higher, however, was limited somewhat by yen strength after the Bank of Japan reduce its purchases of long-dated government bonds, raising expectations that the central bank could rein in its massive accommodative monetary policy measures this year.
Sterling, continued to weaken in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to reshuffle the Cabinet. Some said they expected the Cabinet reshuffle would strengthen May’s leadership but the opposite appears to have transpired amid a string of resignations.