Yen gains in early Asia ahead of BoJ policy views
The yen was a tad stronger Thursday in Asia with the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy statement and interest rate decision later likely to offer comment on the pace of asset buying at ¥80 trillion annually, but keep it steady for now.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, eased 0-.07% to 94.57. USD/JPY changed hands at 111.83, don 0.10%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7965, up 0.15%.
Earlier in Japan, the trade balance for June came in at a surplus of ¥440 billion, missing an expected gain of ¥485 billion. Later Australia reports jobs data with the employment changeseen up by 15,000 workers for an unemployment rate of 5.6% in June, a tick higher than 5.5% in May.
Overnight, the dollar traded higher against a basket of global currencies on Wednesday, buoyed by upbeat housing data indicating a turnaround in the sluggish pace of U.S. home building.
U.S. homebuilding in June topped analysts’ expectations, after declining for three straight months, as both single-family and multi-family construction increased, offsetting the recent raft of economic reports pointing to possible weakness in the economy.
Housing starts jumped 8.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million units, the highest level since February, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.
Economists had forecast activity rising to a rate of 5.8%.
The better-than-expected economic data helped the greenback recover recent losses as traders look ahead to the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting Thursday amid expectations that the central bank would avoid elaborating on its plans to taper its asset-purchase program.
Investors will also have to contend with an interest rate decision from the ECB, with the majority of analysts expecting an unchanged decision from the central bank.