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Dollar steady in Asia

The dollar held steady below a one-month high against a basket of currencies on Thursday, consolidating recent gains tied to bets the U.S. central bank could increase rates once more later this year.

The New Zealand dollar edged higher, after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged as widely expected and reiterated it would remain steady for a while yet.

The kiwi rose 0.4 percent from late U.S. trading on Wednesday to $0.7248, edging back in the direction of a four-month peak of $0.7320 set last week.

“The main takeaways from the statement were pretty much in line with the last statement. They’re still optimistic and positive on the medium-term growth outlook,” said Peter Dragicevich, G10 FX strategist for Nomura in Singapore.

“Could be some people in the market were looking for the RBNZ to be a little bit more forceful in their rhetoric around the exchange rate given how it’s rallied the last few weeks,” he said, adding the absence such jawboning probably helped give the kiwi a lift.

The U.S. dollar held steady against a basket of six major currencies at 97.551, having retreated from a one-month high of 97.871 set on Tuesday.

Last week, the Federal Reserve, as expected, raised key borrowing costs by a quarter point to 1.00-1.25 percent, while Fed Chair Janet Yellen downplayed recent signs of inflation softening.

Source: reuters.com

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