USD/JPY and yen crosses dropped away during the session here. Reuters dropped a piece saying Bank of Japan policymakers are debating how soon they can start telegraphing an eventual interest rate hike, citing unnamed sources. This was heavily caveated (saying an actual rate hike is hardly imminent) but nevertheless it was taken note of. USD/JPY is down from highs circa 114.20 earlier in the session to around 113.70 as I post (just under there).
Elsewhere it was a mixed bag indeed. EUR/USD, GBP/USD are both up on the session, as is gold, while AUD/USD and NZD/USD are a touch weaker.
News flow was light. On the data front we had an indication to wholesale inflation from Japan 9the November PPI). This rose on a y/y basis again (up for the 10th month in a row) while on a m/m basis it fell for the first time in 13 months. Australian housing finance showed lending for owner-occupied dwellings rose for the first time in 6 months.
Fed-speak continued during Asia, with more Fed officials flagging rate hikes this year, up to 5 said on (Waller – if the inflation rate warrants it; he added that if the CPI drops back there may be less than 3 (see bullets above)).
Regional equities took their cue from the softer US markets on Thursday, down on the day so far.