Daily Morning Report 27.05.2015

The Japanese yen held stronger after central bank board meeting minutes that saw no need for further easing now, while markets focused on the chances of Greece reaching a deal with creditors before next week. USD/JPY changed hands at 122.99, down 0.09%, while EUR/USD changed hands at 1.0887, up 0.14%. Inflation in Japan won’t hit a sustained 2% pace this year and any pickup in prices could take considerable time, the Bank of Japan said in minutes of its April board meeting released on Wednesday. A key going forward will be how firms move to raise prices and wages, but for now, there is no need for further easing. At the April 30 meeting, the BoJ held pat on monetary policy with member Takahide Kiuchi once again dissenting and calling for the stimulus of government bond-buying to be cut to ¥45 trillion annually from ¥80 trillion annually now. The BoJ Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata is due to speak to business leaders in Sapporo City, northern Japan at 1030 (0130 GMT). Iwata will hold a news conference from 1400 to 1430 (0500 to 0530 GMT). In Australia, the April Westpac-MI Leading Index is due at 1030 Sydney time (0030 GMT), and at 1045 (0045 GMT), RBA Deputy Governor Philip Lowe speaks at the Australian Regulatory Summit. Soon after, Australia’s Q1 construction work data are due at 1130 (0130 GMT). AUD/USD traded at 0.7746, up 0.12%, ahead of the data and speech. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.02% at 97.41. Greece and its European creditors on Tuesday sought to play down fears that Athens would default on a payment to the International Monetary Fund next week. Overnight, the dollar pushed broadly higher against the other major currencies on Tuesday, after a string of U.S. economic reports and as expectations for a U.S. rate hike in the coming months continued to support. The U.S. Commerce Department said that new home sales jumped 6.8% to 517,000 units last month, compared to expectations for a gain of 5.0% to 510,000. New home sales in March were revised up to 484,000 units from a previously reported 481,000 units. The Commerce Department also reported that total U.S. durable goods orders, which include transportation items, declined by 0.5% last month, compared to expectations for a drop of 0.4%. Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, inched up 0.5% in April, beating forecasts for an increase of 0.4%. In addition, the Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 95.4 this month from a reading of 94.3 in April, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 95.2. Analysts expected the index to ease up to 94.9 in May. The greenback remained broadly supported after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated Friday that the bank still expects to start raising interest rates later in the year if the economy continues to improve as expected. The euro remained under pressure as the prospect of a Greek default continued to weigh. Athens has warned that the country would be unable to make a €305 million payment to the International Monetary Fund due on June 5 if a cash-for-reforms deal with its international lenders is not reached by then.