The dollar slipped in Friday morning trade although it remained above the 91 mark. Focus of the day for the Asian currency market was on the lacklustre economic data from Japan, Bank of Japan (BOJ)’s interest rate decision and the inter-Korean summit.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies last stood at 91.31, down 0.09% at 11:53PM ET (03:53 GMT).
Despite a small drop in late morning, the greenback climbed to a new high earlier on Friday, breaking the 91 mark since early 2018. Although yields of U.S. 10-year Treasuries retreated to below the 3% mark on Thursday, it still fueled the dollar’s momentum.
The USD/JPY pair eased 0.10% to 109.19. The yen held firm against the dollar despite a slew of worse-than-expected data, with Tokyo CPI for April coming at 0.5% versus the estimated 0.8% and March retail sales figures at 1.0% versus the expected 1.5%. The yen also reacted little to the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy statement, which indicated inflation is unlikely to hit 2% as targeted.
BOJ delivered its much anticipated decision on monetary policy in late morning in Asia without mentioning the timeframe for achieving the 2% inflation target. The move suggested that the target will likely remain out of reach in the near future, as the Bank kept its inflation forecast for the next fiscal year unchanged at 1.8%.
The AUD/USD pair steadied at 0.7555. The Australian producer price index came out at 0.5% quarter-on-quarter, beating the expected 0.4%, but the upbeat reading did not translate into bulls for the Aussie, which is still at a one-month low against the dollar.
The USD/KRW pair dropped 0.16% to 1,076.02. The historic summit between North Korea and South Korea on Friday morning tamed the geopolitical tensions in East Asia, lifting up the sentiment for the won. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hailed a “new era of peace”.
In China, the People’s Bank of China set the fix rate of yuan against the dollar at 6.3393 versus the previous day’s 6. 3283. The USD/CNY pair eased 0.37% to trade at 6.3361.