The dollar and euro stayed virtually unchanged Friday as the boiling Ukraine crisis kept traders cautious going into the weekend.
But the Japanese yen inched higher, with eyes looking to policy meetings next week in both the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Firm inflation figures — a 1.3 percent pace in March — released in Tokyo Friday drove expectations that the BOJ will keep policy unchanged, instead of expanding stimulus efforts as some have hoped for.
The inflation figures “do not inspire much hope that the Bank of Japan will engage in more monetary easing any time soon”, said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities
There were virtually no expectations of any shift by the U.S. Federal Reserve at their policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
Another $10 billion cut in the monthly bond purchase program is expected, with the Fed accepting that the economic stall during the winter was largely related to the repeated storms.
“We anticipate a fairly uneventful Fed meeting… The Fed will not make any further changes to interest rates or its forward guidance,” said economists at IHS Global Insight.