The US Dollar was mixed in Asian trading earlier today but is still poised to close out the week on an up note. The latest data on the US economy reinforced expectations that the Fed will push through more interest rate hikes in the coming months. Though Wednesday’s release of retail sales and CPI disappointed, Thursday’s economic data did not; the US Labor Department reported that seasonally adjusted unemployment benefit claims fell beyond analysts’ forecasts. Moreover, both the Philadelphia and NY branches of the Federal Reserve Bank released their respective business conditions index which surpassed forecasts.
As reported at 11:01 am (JST) in Tokyo, the USD/JPY was trading at 111.121 Yen, a gain of 0.23%; the pair had earlier hit a low of 110.836 Yen in this trading session. The AUD/USD was trading at $0.7594, up 0.18% while the NZD/USD was higher at $0.7214, a gain of 0.06%.
BOJ Stays on Ultra-Loose Path
In Asia, the Bank of Japan announced that its benchmark lending rate would remain unchanged at the current -0.1%, largely as expected. Though the Japanese economy is now gaining positive traction, the BOJ Governor has continued to assert that an ultra-loose monetary policy is appropriate given that the central bank’s inflation target has not yet been met. Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a press conference later today to discuss the BOJ’s outlook for the Japanese economy.