In early Friday trade in Asia, the US Dollar Index remained close to a 2-year peak as FX traders await today’s release of growth data from the US. Currently, economists are predicting that 1st quarter results will show a fall to 2.1% (year-over-year) from 2.2% in the previous period. Core personal consumption is also expected to have decreased slightly to 1.6% from 1.8% (quarter-over-quarter basis). On Thursday, the US Census Bureau reported a rise in durable goods orders last month, the largest increase in eight months. With recent news of improving exports and retail sales, concerns over a slowdown in the US economy have begun to wane.
As reported at 9:48 am (JST) in Tokyo, the USD/JPY was trading at 111.5090 Yen, down 0.0592%; the pair has ranged from a peak of 111.588 Yen to a trough of 111.451 Yen. The AUD/USD was trading lower at $0.7013, down 0.019%, moving off the session trough of $0.70120. The NZD/USD was trading at $0.663, up 0.03%; the pair earlier ranged from a low of $0.66253 to a peak of $0.66385.
The Japanese Yen is getting some report from unexpectedly upbeat inflation data. According to the Statistics Bureau, CPI (excluding fresh food) edged higher in April (year-over-year) to 1.3%, above the flat reading expected of 1.1%. Overall, CPI surged to 1.4% from 0.9%, above the 0.8% that economists had predicted. Retail trade also improved unexpectedly. News of a decline in industrial production was the only disappointment, with preliminary figures showing a significant drop to -4.6 from -1.1% (year-over-year).