Australian Economy

U.S. inflation data, GDP, unemployment, earnings

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In economic data, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said advance estimates show the country’s gross domestic product grew 4.8% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period a year ago. That’s up from 4% in the first quarter of the year, but lower than the 5.2% growth that analysts in a Reuters poll expected.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore tightened monetary policy in an off-cycle move Thursday. The central bank said it will re-center the mid-point of the exchange rate policy band, known as the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate, up to its prevailing level.

The slope and width of the band will not change, the MAS said. The central bank manages monetary policy through setting the exchange rate and not interest rates.

Singapore’s Straits Times index fell 0.43% on Thursday, while the Singapore dollar rose to 1.3954 against the greenback following the announcement.

“The SGD should be supported in the near term by this surprise tightening, but stubbornly high inflation means we can’t rule out further action from the MAS in October,” according to a Thursday note from ING.

Overnight in the U.S., stocks declined following the inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 208.54 points, or 0.67%, to 30,772.79, while the S&P 500 slid 0.45% to 3,801.78. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.15% to close at 11,247.58.

The yield curve inversion in U.S. Treasury, seen as a recession signal, widened on Wednesday stateside. The 2-year yield last stood at 3.1879%, higher than 2.9521% for the 10-year note. Yields move inversely to prices.

Australia added 88,400 jobs in June, official data showed, much more than the 30,000 that analysts polled by Reuters predicted.

The country’s unemployment rate was at 3.5%, lower than the 3.8% expected.

Taiwan’s chipmaker TSMC and Japan’s Fast Retailing are due to report earnings Thursday as well.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, briefly slipped below 108, but was last at 108.394.

The Japanese yen traded at 137.89 per dollar, and the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6741.

Oil futures rose slightly in Asia trade. U.S. crude inched up 0.07% to $96.37 per barrel, while Brent crude climbed 0.19% to $99.76 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Yun Li contributed to this report.

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