Forex – Yen up slightly ahead of CPI data for April – The yen drifted higher ahead of consumer prices data for April as investors looked ahead to remarks by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on rates following a drumbeat of policy makers suggesting a hike as early as the June meeting.

USD/JPY changed hands at 109.69, down 0.07%, while AUD/USD was flat at 0.7226.

In Japan, national CPI for April is due with a 0.3% drop seen year-on-year, while national core CPI is seen down 0.4% year-on-year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 95.14.

Overnight, the dollar pushed lower to a one-week trough against the other major currencies on Thursday, as investors continued to lock-in profits from the greenback’s recent rally to two-month highs after the release of strong U.S. data added to expectations for an upcoming U.S. rate hike.

The U.S. National Association of Realtors said pending home sales rose by 5.1% last month, beating expectations for a gain of 0.6% and hitting the highest level in over a decade.

The report came after the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 21 decreased by 10,000 to 268,000 from the previous week’s total of 278,000.

Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 3,000 to 275,000 last week.

Separately, the U.S. Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 3.4% last month, compared to economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.5%.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, rose 0.4% last month, compared to forecasts for a 0.3% gain.
But investors continued to lock in profits from the greenback’s rally to two-month highs this week amid speculation the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as next month.