Asian Currencies Struggle Between Hawkish Fed and Soft Inflation

Asian Currencies

Most Asian currencies traded flat today, Friday, August 12, 2022, as investors weighed signs of softening the US inflation against comments from Federal Reserve officials suggesting more interest rate hikes were likely.

Indian rupee and Singapore dollar traded sideways while China’s yuan was largely unchanged at around 6.7361.

A new lockdown rattled sentiment toward China in industrial hub Yiwu and parts of the Hainan province. A series of COVID-related lockdowns have severely dented economic growth in China this year.

Focus is now on key Chinese industrial production and retail sales data due next week to gauge the economy’s strength. Broader sentiment in Asia was muted as investors digested data showing that both US consumer and producer price inflation softened through July.

But overnight comments from Fed officials suggested that the bank would keep hiking rates until inflation came back within its targeted annual rate of 2%. CPI inflation stood at 8.5% as of July.

Even as a growing number of traders are positioning for a smaller, 50 basis point hike by the Fed during its September meeting, US Treasury yields rose overnight.

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