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25 May 2023 14:30 USD/MAJORS - Reuters reported Boston Federal Reserve President Susan Collins said on Thursday the time may be at hand for the U.S. central bank to push the pause button on its interest rate hiking campaign to see how the impact of past tightening is weighing on activity. 
"While inflation is still too high, there are some promising signs of moderation," Collins said in prepared remarks for a speech to a group in Rhode Island. The cooling in price pressures means that "we may be at, or near, the point where monetary policy can pause raising interest rates." 
Potentially holding off on a rate hike "will provide an opportunity to more fully assess the impact of the actions taken to date and the general tightening of credit conditions on economic activity," she said. 
25 May 2023 14:27 USD/MAJORS - Reuters reported contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes were unchanged in April amid tight inventory, which could delay a recovery in the housing market. 
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Thursday that the unchanged reading of 78.9 in its Pending Home Sales Index, based on signed contracts, last month followed a 5.2% drop in March. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending sales, which become sales after a month or two, rebounding 1.0%. 
Pending home sales decreased 20.3% in April on a year-on-year basis. 
25 May 2023 12:43 USD/MAJORS - Reuters reported The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose moderately last week and the prior week's data was revised sharply lower, suggesting persistent labor market strength. 
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 for the week ended May 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 17,000 fewer applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 245,000 claims for the latest week. 
In a separate report on Thursday, the Commerce Department confirmed economic growth slowed in the first quarter, restrained by businesses liquidating inventories. The inventory drawdown likely reflected strong consumer spending as well as businesses reducing stock in anticipation of a recession. 
Gross domestic product increased at a 1.3% annualized rate last quarter, the government said in its second estimate of first-quarter GDP growth. That was revised up from the 1.1% pace reported last month. The economy grew at a 2.6% pace in the fourth quarter. Economists had expected first-quarter GDP growth would be unrevised. 
25 May 2023 12:05 USD/JPY - 139.32... Reuters reported Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said changing the central bank's policy target to the five-year bond yield, from the current 10-year zone, would be among options if it were to modify its yield curve control (YCC) policy in the future. 
With falling raw material costs likely to slow inflation in coming months, the BOJ must avoid tightening monetary policy prematurely to ensure Japan sustainably achieves its 2% target, Ueda told a group interview with media on Thursday. 
But he said the BOJ could make tweaks to YCC "if the balance between the benefit and cost of the policy shifts." 
"If the BOJ were to modify YCC in the future, there are various ways of doing so," he said, adding that shortening the duration of bond yields it targets to the five-year zone from the current 10-year zone "could be among options." 
25 May 2023 06:31 USD/JPY - 139.51... Reuters reported Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda said on Thursday the central bank's biggest mission was to stably and sustainably achieve its 2% inflation target. 
"We are beginning to see some positive signs in the economy. But there's still some distance to stably and sustainably achieving our price target," Ueda told parliament, adding that the central bank would "patiently" maintain current ultra-loose monetary policy. 
25 May 2023 06:30 EUR/USD - 1.0735... Reuters reported the German economy contracted slightly in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the previous three months, thereby entering recession, data from the statistics office showed on Thursday. 
Gross domestic product fell by 0.3% for the quarter when adjusted for price and calendar effects, the data showed. This follows a decline of 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2022. A recession is commonly defined as two successive quarters of contraction. 
A preliminary estimate had shown GDP stagnating in the first quarter and Germany skirting a recession. 
24 May 2023 18:02 USD/MAJORS - Reuters reported Federal Reserve officials "generally agreed" last month that the need for further interest rate increases "had become less certain," with several saying that the quarter-percentage-point increase they approved might be the last, according to minutes of the May 2-3 meeting released on Wednesday. 
Others cautioned the U.S. central bank needed to keep its options open given the risks of persistent inflation. 
"Several participants noted that if the economy evolved along the lines of their current outlooks, then further policy firming after this meeting may not be necessary," the minutes said, adding weight to expectations the Fed is likely to pause its aggressive rate-hike campaign at the upcoming June 13-14 meeting. 
Yet there was division about the path ahead. 
With Fed staff continuing to project a mild recession later this year, some policymakers "saw evidence that the past year's tightening was beginning to have its intended impact," with "almost all participants" seeing risks to growth due to a tightening of bank credit. 
24 May 2023 17:53 USD/MAJORS - Reuters reported Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on Wednesday said that while inverted yield curves in the context of stable inflation often point to a bad economic outlook, the current yield curve inversion may signal better times ahead. 
"What you're seeing in the inversion is not so much fears about bad economic outcomes in the future, but belief and trust that we're going to bring inflation back down and rates will be lower in the future once we do that," Waller said at a University of California, Santa Barbara economic summit. 
And getting inflation down, he said, is his main focus. "I'm on my job trying to get inflation down." 
24 May 2023 06:09 GBP/USD - 1.2460... Reuters reported British consumer price inflation fell to 8.7% in April from March's 10.1%, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday. 
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that the annual CPI rate would drop to 8.2% in April, moving further away from October's 41-year high of 11.1%. 
Earlier this month, the Bank of England forecast inflation of 8.4% for April. 
Core inflation, which excludes energy, food and tobacco prices, rose to 6.8%. 
24 May 2023 03:06 NZD/USD - 0.6176... Reuters news, RBNZ's Governor Or says : 
- today was first time monetary policy committee went to vote for a decision 
- outlook for fiscal spending contractionary on demand 
24 May 2023 02:21 NZD/USD - 0.6183... Reuters then reported New Zealand's central bank on Wednesday raised interest rates by 25 basis points to the highest in more than 14 years at 5.5% and reiterated inflation remains too high even as it still forecast a recession this year. 
The decision was in line with expectations from 21 of 25 economists in a Reuters poll forecasting the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) would raise rates by 25 basis points in its twelfth straight hike since October 2021. 
"The OCR (official cash rate) will need to remain at a restrictive level for the foreseeable future, to ensure that consumer price inflation returns to the 1% to 3% annual target range, while supporting maximum sustainable employment," the statement said. 
24 May 2023 02:00 NZD/USD - 0.6210... Reuters news, RBNZ raises interest by 25 bps to 5.50% as widely expected
23 May 2023 12:34 EUR/USD - 1.0781... Reuters reported the European Central Bank can ask banks to beef up their liquidity buffers but that is not a general objective of the euro zone's top banking watchdog, the ECB's chief supervisor Andrea Enria said on Tuesday. 
"I can't rule out that in some cases we have also asked to beef up the liquidity buffers but it's not something that is an objective," Enria told a banking conference. 
23 May 2023 11:13 GBP/USD - 1.2387... Reuters reported Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday that the central bank was getting nearer to a peak for interest rates. 
"I can't tell you whether we're near to the peak, I can't you whether we are at the peak. I think we are nearer to the peak than we were," Bailey told lawmakers from parliament's Treasury Committee.
23 May 2023 09:54 GBP/USD - 1.2394... Reuters reported Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said on Tuesday the central bank had "very big lessons to learn", with inflation still in double digits and food prices rising at the fastest rate since the 1970s. 
"I think there are very big lessons about how we operate monetary policy in the face of very big shocks," Bailey told lawmakers in a question-and-answer session dominated by questions about the BoE's failure to forecast the scale of inflation's jump. 
Harriet Baldwin, chair of parliament's Treasury Committee, told Bailey that the central bank had been too slow to pick up on the warnings of food producers that costs were rising sharply - something now evident in inflation data. 

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