Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Forex - Yen up as investors mull Fed minutes suggesting rate hike soon

© Reuters. Yen up, Fed minutes suggest rate hike soon© Reuters. Yen up, Fed minutes suggest rate hike soon - The yen drifted higher in early Asia on Thursday with the minutes of the Federal Reserve overnight pointing to a near-term rate hike.

changed hands at 110.10, down 0.09%, while traded at 0.7236, up 0.10%.

On Wednesday, minutes released by the Federal Reserve from its April policy meeting suggested an interest-rate increase in June was possible if incoming data showed an improving economy.

As well, an assessment of risks posed by global economic and financial conditions was downplayed, and the minutes pointed to additional strengthening of the U.S. labor market despite an apparent slowdown in economic activity.

Ahead in Asia in Japan, core machinery orders likely rose 0.8% in March and at a 0.5%% pace .

In Australia, employment data is due with an expected in April, with an seen at 5.8%, up from 5.7%, and a of 64.9%, unchanged.

The , which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 95.20.

Overnight, the dollar trimmed gains but remained supported against the other major currencies.

Expectations for an upcoming U.S. rate hike mounted after data on Tuesday showed that U.S. consumer prices rose at the fastest rate in more than three years in April.

Prices rose by 0.4% in April, the biggest one-month gain since February 2013, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
Separate reports showed that housing starts and industrial production also rose strongly last month.

In addition, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and San Francisco Fed President John Williams both said on Tuesday that there could be two or three rate hikes this year.

In Japan, data earlier showed that the economy grew by an annualized 1.7% in the three months to March, well ahead of forecasts for a 0.2% increase and recovering from a 1.7% contraction in the previous quarter.

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