Investing.com

Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar eased in early Asia on Monday following trade data that was mildly below expectations.



NZD/USD was bid at 0.8544, down 0.09%, after the country recorded a NZ$534 million trade surplus for April and a NZ$1.19 billion surplus for the year ended April.



Economists had expected a surplus of NZ$667 million in April and a NZ$1.3 billion surplus for the 12-month period.



Up ahead are monetary policy minutes from the Bank of Japan''s latest meeting. USD/JPY traded flat at 101.98.In Australia, AUD/USD held at 0.9244, up 0.15%.



Last week, the euro fell to three-month lows against the dollar and hit the lowest level in 17 months against the pound after weak German business sentiment data underlined expectations that the European Central Bank will ease monetary policy at its next meeting in June.



Recent comments by senior ECB officials have signaled that the bank is open to acting as soon as June to stop inflation in the currency bloc from falling too low.



On Thursday, ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said the bank is prepared to take unconventional measures to counter the risks of low inflation in the euro zone.



The dollar was boosted after data on new home sales added to signs of a recovery in the housing market.



The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes rose by a larger-than-expected 6.4% to 433,000 in April, after two months of decline. Analysts had been expecting a figure of 425,000. March''s number was revised up from 384,000 to 407,000.



The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.01% at 80.43.



In the coming week, markets in the U.K. will be closed for a public holiday on Monday, while U.S. markets will also be closed for the Memorial Day holiday. Investors will be looking ahead to revised data on U.S. first quarter growth, while Tuesday’s report on consumer confidence will also be in focus.



On Monday, the Bank of Japan is to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting, which contain valuable insights into economic conditions from the bank’s perspective.



ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Portugal; his comments will be closely watched.



Markets in the U.K. are to remain closed for a public holiday, while U.S. markets will also be closed, for the Memorial Day holiday.





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