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June 18: Asian session

USD/JPY rose to 102.30. US dollar held gains versus most of its major peers before the Federal Reserve announces a policy decision today as signs of US economic growth fuel speculation policy makers are moving toward raising interest rates. Asian stocks outside of Japan fell. MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index slipped 0.15%, while Japanese Nikkei added about 1%. The Bank of Japan’s minutes showed no major surprises, with members unanimously voting to keep increasing the monetary base at an annual pace of about 60-70 trillion yen.

AUD/USD consolidates in a tight $0.9325/45 range following the yesterday’s sharp decline. NZD/USD hovers around $0.8660. New Zealand current account surplus came out in line with forecasts at 1.41B (prior: a deficit of 1.51B). Gold trades under bearish pressure around $1267.

EUR/USD is trading in the $1.3546 area after yesterday’s decline from $1.3570. GBP/USD is flat at $1.6960.

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