Aussie weaker ahead of RBA review, yen up after wages
The Aussie eased after an initial bump higher in Asia on Tuesday ahead of the latest central bank rate review.
AUD/USD traded at 0.7484, down 0.04%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 110.19, down 0.26% after Japan reported average cash earnings rose 0.5% for April, compared with a 0.3% gain seen year-on-year.
GBP/USD rose 0.03% to 1.2910.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0.04% to 96.73.
The Reserve Bank of Australia will release its latest interest rate decision on Tuesday with analysts expecting a steady and record low 1.50%. Australia also reports current account figures with a surplus of A$100 million seen for the first quarter.
Overnight, the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies on Monday, shrugging off the release of mostly downbeat economic data fuelling concerns of a slowdown in the U.S. economy.
U.S. non-manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in May, as the Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its non-manufacturing index fell 0.6 points to 56.9 in May.
In a separate report, the Commerce Department said Monday that Factory orders dipped 0.2% in April, in line with forecasts. The greenback is struggling to recover from a slump to seven-month lows, after data on Friday showed that the U.S. economy added far fewer jobs than expected.
The recent bout of soft economic data, however, failed to lower investor expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike its benchmark rate in June.
According to the Fed rate monitor tool, nearly 90% of traders expect a June rate hike.
GBP/USD traded higher, recovering from a dip in the overnight Asia session, as investors mulled over the latest opinion polls, suggesting that Thursday’s UK general election could be closer than initially expected.
The latest YouGov opinion poll predicts that the Conservatives will win only 305 seats in the House of Commons, above Labour’s 268 but well short of the 326 seats needed for a majority.
The oil-linked Canadian dollar came under pressure, after oil prices tumbled more than 1%, following fears of a disruption to OPEC’s measures to curb supply, after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia and other Arab states severed ties with Qatar.