Investing.com – The New Zealand dollar held weaker in Asia on Thursday after GDP data was on track and nvestors digested the Federal Reserve’s views on the timing of an expected interest rate hike.
New Zealand said fourth quarter GDP rose 0.8% quarter-on-quarter, slightly above the 0.7% expected.
NZD/USD trade at 0.7475, down 0.13%, while AUD/USD fell 0.33% to 0.7745. EUR/USD traded at 1.0829, down 0.35% andd USD/JPY was quoted at 120.22, up 0.10%.
In Australia, the March quarter Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin at 1130 AEDT (0030 GMT) will be scanned for insight.
In Japan, the January All Industry Activity Index is released at 1330 Tokyo (0430 GMT) then the February Nationwide Department Store Sales at 1430 tokyo (0530 GMT).
Overnight, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said while the Fed has not decided on the timing of a rate hike, it is possible it could come at any Federal Open Market Committee meeting this year after the FOMC concludes its next meeting in April.
The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus six other major currencies, was quoted up 0.41% to 97.78 at the start of the Asian day.
When asked to describe the effects of an appreciating dollar on the U.S. economy, Yellen noted that the stronger dollar is holding back inflation which the Fed has set a target goal of 2%.
“I don’t have a quantitative estimate to offer, but I certainly expect net exports to serve as a notable drag this year on the outlook,” she said.
Yellen reiterated that the Fed is keeping a close eye on the global markets as it decides how soon it will wait before raising rates.
“We realize that our own policies affect performance in the rest of the world. And that performance in other countries has an influence on us,” Yellen said. “I think a strong U.S. economy certainly is something that is good for other countries, as well.”
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