Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar was flat in early trade in Asia on Wednesday despite stronger than expected current account data, while the FX markets looked ahead to central bank minutes from Japan.
For the first quarter, New Zealand''s current account showed a surplus of NZ$1.4 billion, wider than the expected NZ$1.30 billion.
NZD/USD traded at 0.8655, down 0.02%, after the data.
The Bank of Japan''s minutes of the May board meeting are due at 0850 Tokyo time (2350 GMT) along with May trade data. The forecast is for a deficit worth Y1.01 trillion.
USD/JPY traded at 102.18, up 0.03%, ahead of the minutes.
In Australia, the Westpac-MI Leading Index for May is due at 1030 Sydney (0030 GMT). The May index will be in focus after a sharp fall in April that signalled growth momentum well below trend.
AUD/USD traded at 0.9339, up 0.03%, ahead of the survey.
Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against most major currenciesy after U.S. inflation rates beat market expectations, while soft housing data failed to seriously dent the greenback''s advance.
The Labor Department reported earlier that the U.S. consumer price index rose 2.1% on year in May and rose 0.4% from April. Consumer prices rose at their fastest pace since October 2008, which sparked demand for the greenback.
Market expectations had been for an annual increase of 2.0% and a monthly rise of 0.2%.
Firming inflation rates should prompt the Federal Reserve to continue winding down its monthly bond-buying program and later raise benchmark interest rates from current record lows as the economy gains steam.
The Fed will conclude a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, and the U.S. central bank is seen scaling back its asset-purchasing program by another $10 billion, though hikes to benchmark interest rates won''t come until sometime in 2015.
A separate report showed that both U.S. housing starts and building permits fell in May, pointing to underlying weakness in the housing sector.
The Commerce Department reported that housing starts dropped by 6.5% last month to 1.001 million units, while the number of building permits issued last month fell by 6.4% to 991,000 units, though markets focused on inflation data instead.
Meanwhile in Europe, data revealed that German economic sentiment deteriorated unexpectedly in June, reflecting the recent slowdown in the German economy after a strong start to the year.
The ZEW index of German economic sentiment came in at 29.8 this month, down from 33.1 in May and far shy of market expectations for a 35.0 reading. It was the lowest reading since December 2012.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.02% at 80.70.
On Wednesday, the dollar will move on the Federal Reserve''s announcement on monetary policy.
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