Ringgit lower against USA dollar in early trade

Fed's Yellen says gradual hikes should continue despite weak inflation

The Nikkei average declined 63.14 points or 0.31 percent to 20,267.05, the lowest level since September 15, while the broader Topix index closed 0.50 percent lower at 1,664.43.

Because changes in interest rates influence economic activity and inflation with a substantial lag, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) sets monetary policy with an eye to its effects on the outlook for the economy. With regard to the labor market, Yellen commented that there is a risk of overheating and this could lead to an inflationary problem. As the figure shows, based on that history, there is a 30 percent probability that inflation could be greater than 3 percent or less than 1 percent next year.

The US dollar index was up by 0.5% at 93.08 at 8:31 a.m. ET. "So we do see lower [prices] predicated exclusively due to the monetary tightening by the Fed in the U.S".

Investors were also optimistic about the USA tax reforms expected to be announced by Trump's administration and Republicans in Congress today at 1920GMT.

Gold prices fell in Asia on Wednesday as investors took positions ahead of an expected roll-out of the Trump administration's plan for tax cuts and after noting what some are seeing as a more hawkish Fed after a speech by the central bank's chief.

In New Zealand, RBNZ policymakers are scheduled to gather later today to decide on interest rates, which are projected to remain steady at a record low of 1.75% until the end of the year.

US stocks finished mixed on Tuesday, as investors digested the latest remarks from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

Myanmar mob attacks aid shipment bound for Rohingya area
The aid shipment was bound for the north of the Rakhine State where insurgent attacks on August 25 sparked a military backlash. More than 4,20,000 members of the Muslim minority have fled Myanmar for the safety of neighbouring Bangladesh.

U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the U.S. 2-year yield near 1.47 percent and the 10-year yield around 2.30 percent. President Donald Trump has not said whether he plans to re-appoint Yellen or overhaul the central bank's seven-member board of governors.

"In my view, it strengthens the case for a gradual pace of adjustments", Yellen said.

The ringgit continued yesterday's downtrend to opened lower against the U.S. dollar this morning as the greenback strengthened on the possibility of another interest rate hike before the year-end, dealers said.

"The divergence between USA and euro zone data surprises is closing rapidly and while the once popular dollar parity forecasts still look ridiculous, the euro looks past its peak", said Sean Maher, an independent macro-strategist based in London. The Nasdaq composite gained 9.57 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,380.16. The euro was at $1.1756-1757, down from $1.1812-1813, and at ¥132.48-49, up from ¥132.01-02.

-West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5 percent to $51.94 a barrel.

The greenback broke out to over a 2-month high of Y113.229 against the Japanese Yen Wednesday morning, but has since pulled back to around Y112.700.

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