Aussie Dollar Slips After Inflation Reading; BOJ In Focus
The Australian dollar slipped against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday after a weak-than-expected inflation reading, while the Japanese yen was little changed after the Bank of Japan issued its latest monetary policy statement.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday that consumer prices in Australia were up 0.4% on quarter in the third quarter of 2018.
The AUD/USD pair dropped 0.3%, while the NZD/USD pair slipped 0.1%. The Aussie dollar plunged about 9% this year due to record-low interest rates and trade war concerns between the U.S. and China.
Meanwhile, the USD/JPY pair was up 0.1% to 113.21. The Bank of Japan maintained a steady monetary policy on Wednesday, but cut its inflation forecasts slightly and warned on financial vulnerabilities.
"Prolonged downward pressure on financial institutions' profits from low interest rates... could destabilise the financial system," the central bank said.
"Although these risks are judged as not significant at this point, it's necessary to pay close attention to future developments," it added.
Elsewhere, the USD/CNY pair was unchanged at 6.9684 as the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.9646 vs the previous day's fix of 6.9574. The Chinese currency hit a 10-year low this week amid escalating trade war concerns with the U.S.
The country’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.2 in October from 50.8 in September, weaker than forecasts of 50.6.
The U.S. dollar index gained 0.5% to 96.82 and hovered near 16-month highs. The index hit 97.02 on Tuesday, its highest level since June 2017.