Investing.com

Investing.com - The Japanese gained further against the dollar on Wednesday after trade data showed solid export growth and the Bank of Japan held monetary policy steady.



The Bank of Japan unanimously voted to keep the current monetary base target at the conclusion of a two-day board meeting.



"The Bank of Japan will conduct money market operations so that the monetary base will increase at an annual pace of about ¥60 to ¥70 trillion," the BoJ said.



BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda then holds a news conference at 1530 (0630 GMT).



USD/JPY traded at 101.19, down 0.14%, after the BoJ announcement and Japan''s April trade balance showed a deficit of ¥808.9 billion, compared to a forecast of a deficit of ¥640.0 billion.



Exports rose 5.1% in April, compared to an expectation of a 4.8% gain, also supporting the yen. Japan''s exports have posted 14 straight gains.



The Australian dollar weakened after data showed the wage price index growth for the first quarter met expectations.



The wage price index rose 0.7% in the first quarter and at an annual pace of 2.6%.



AUD/USD traded at 0.9234, down 0.09%, after initially recovering on the wage priece index data from an earlier slump following the May Westpac-MI consumer sentiment that showed a drop of 6.8% to 92.9, the lowest since August 2011.



Overnight, the dollar traded mixed in choppy trading against most major currencies after a key Federal Reserve officials said rate hikes might need to come sooner rather than later.



Charles Plosser, the head of the Federal Reserve''s Bank of Philadelphia, said earlier that the Fed should consider winding down its monthly bond-purchasing program quicker than its current pace to ensure that inflationary pressures remain in comfort zones, while rate hikes should follow soon afterwards.



"My own view is that, as we continue to move closer to our 2 percent inflation goal and the labor market improves, we must be prepared to adjust policy appropriately. That may well require us to begin raising interest rates sooner rather than later," Plosser said in prepared remarks of a speech he delivered in Washington earlier.



The dollar rose on Plosser''s comments, though less hawkish statements from his colleague in New York allowed for choppy trading.



William Dudley, head of the New York Fed, said rates will raise after the Fed winds down stimulus programs, though hikes will come gradually.



"My current thinking is that the pace of tightening will probably be relatively slow. This depends, however, in large part, not only on the economy’s performance, but also on how financial conditions respond to tightening," Dudley said in prepared remarks of a speech he delivered in New York earlier.



"If the response of financial conditions to tightening is very mild—say similar to how the bond and equity markets have responded to the tapering of asset purchases since last December—this might encourage a somewhat faster pace. In contrast, if bond yields were to move sharply higher, as was the case last spring, then a more cautious approach might be warranted."



The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.02% at 80.08.



On Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to speak at an event in New York. Later in the day, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.





Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger