Yen Holds Gains After Surprise Jump In Core Machinery Orders
The yen held gains against the dollar in Asia on Wednesday as core machinery orders unexpectedly rose and the euro gained after comments from a key European central banker on the hawkish side.
USD/JPY changed hands at 110.39, down 0.06%, while EUR/USD traded at 1.2271, up 0.08%. AUD/USD traded at 0.7971, up 0.13%.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.11% to 90.23.
In Asia, Japan reported a surprise jump in core machinery orders for November with a 5.7% leap, compared to a 1.4% drop expected on month and 4.1% pace annually, compared to a 0.7% decline seen on year. Australia reports home loans data for November with a 0.1% increase seen on month.
It would be "appropriate" for the European Central Bank to stop its bond purchases, due to run at least until September, this year, Bundesbank's head Jens Weidmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview to be published on Wednesday.
Overnight, the dollar rose against a basket of major currencies supported by euro weakness amid a report suggesting that the European Central Bank was unlikely announce plans to unwind its bond buying programme.
Reuters reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the ECB, that the central bank was unlikely to alter its policy message at next week’s meeting, as inflation remains well below the 2% target.
The central bank’s inflationary concerns come ahead of Wednesday’s final reading on December inflation expected to confirm consumer prices grew 1.4%.
Sterling, meanwhile, pared some of its losses against the greenback despite data showing annual inflation rose slower than estimated in December. While investors also mulled over Prime Minister Theresa May’s comments insisting that the UK would definitely be leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) uncertainty has dominated Canadian dollar direction over the past week, Action Economics said, adding that it doesn’t expect the uncertainty, however, to weigh on the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision.