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Aussie Falls After CPI, China PMI Figures, Market Eyes Trump Ahead

1/31/2018, 10:37:56 AMMarket Analysis
Aussie Falls After CPI, China PMI Figures, Market Eyes Trump Ahead

The Aussie fell in Asia on Wednesday with weaker than expected consumer inflation and a tick down int he China manufacturing PMI weighing ahead of President Trump's remarks to Congress during the trading day with potential comments on trade and China to be closely-noted.

AUD/USD traded at 0.8069, down 0.17%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 108.78, flat. EUR/USD traded at 1.22417, up 012%, while GBP/USD was quoted at 1.4160, up 0.10%/

Australia reported consumer price inflation for the fourth quarter rose 0.6%, compared with a 0.7% gain on quarter seen and at a 1.9% pace on year compared to a 2.0% gain expected. As well, private sector credit for December rose 0.3%, lower than the expected 0.5% gain.

China reported its official manufacturing PMI at 51.3, missing a 51.5 level expected for January, a dip down from 51.6 in December. The non-manufacturing PMI rose to 55.3, compared to a steady 55.0 seen. The private Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI is due on Thursday with a 51.3 level seen in January, a slight fall from 51.5 in December.

Earlier, Japan reported December provisional industrial production rose 2.7%, beating a 1.5% rise expected.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted down 0.17% to 89.02.

Later Wednesday. the Fed will hold its last FOMC review with Janet Yellen as chair and is widely expected to stay steady, but the tone on inflation and growth outlooks at the press conference could rattle markets.

Overnight, the dollar bounced off the lows of session Tuesday against a basket of major currencies as the Federal Reserve got its two-day meeting underway.

The Federal Reserve got its two-day meeting underway, with an announcement on its monetary policy decision due Wednesday, when it’s widely expected the central bank will stand pat on interest rates.

Yet the monetary policy statement, which accompanies the rate decision, is expected to garner attention as some market participants expect the Fed to adopt a slightly hawkish slant in its language concerning the strength of the US economy and inflation.

Bullish economic data, meanwhile, limited losses in the greenback as data showed consumers remained confident the strong economic growth seen last year will continue into 2018.

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence gauge rose to 125.4 in January from 122.1 in December, beating economists’ forecast for a reading of 123.1.

"Consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the board. "Expectations improved, though consumers were somewhat ambivalent about their income prospects over the coming months, perhaps the result of some uncertainty regarding the impact of the tax plan."