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Kazakh State Sells $1.3 Billion Worth of Foreign Currency

Last month, Kazakhstan’s central bank and state-owned enterprises sold a total of $1.283 billion in foreign currency in the domestic market.

The bank stated that it sold $696 million to facilitate a transfer from the National Fund to the state budget. In comparison, state-owned enterprises sold $346.5 million.

On Jan. 12-13, the regulator sold $239.8 million from its reserves to support the local tenge currency when trading resumed following the oil-rich Central Asian nation’s violent unrest. The USD/JPY exchange rate rose 0.10 percent to 115.61.

The AUD/USD pair fell 0.05 percent to 0.7174. Meanwhile, the NZD/USD fell 0.01 percent to 0.6883.

The USD/CNY pair fell 0.06 percent to 6.3588. Meanwhile, the GBP/USD pair dropped 0.01 percent to 1.3531.

The Australian dollar was not far from its previous day’s high of $0.7194, near a three-week high.

On Thursday morning, the dollar was higher in Asia, trading in a narrow range, while the riskier Australian and New Zealand currencies were near multi-week highs. Investors are now focusing on the most recent inflation data from the United States.

The US Dollar Index measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies. It rose 0.06 percent to 95.552. The explosion higher in metals markets, lift in global risk sentiment, and a softish US dollar supports the Australian currency, and a close above $0.7183 would suggest a further extension towards $0.7225 and possibly $0.7275.

Across the Tasman Sea, the New Zealand dollar traded close to its two-week high of $0.66975 set on Wednesday.

Investors are increasing their bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it meets in March. However, Cleveland Federal Reserve President Loretta Mester stated that she does not see a compelling case for beginning with a 50-basis-point rate hike.

Government bond yields in the United States and Europe have risen as interest rate hikes have increased. However, these expectations dwindled on Wednesday and Thursday morning, with yields on US benchmark 10-year notes at 1.9354 percent in early Asian trading on Thursday. It was slightly lower than Tuesday’s 1.970 percent, a 27-month high.

The euro traded at 1.1416. It edged lower throughout the week after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Monday that she saw no need for excessively tight monetary policy, easing expectations of a 2022 rate hike.

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