* Commodity currencies biggest decliners among major
* Market cautious ahead of a batch of key Chinese indicators
* G3 currencies subdued, Yellen's speech eyed
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, April 16 Commodity currencies nursed
heavy losses early on Wednesday, while the other major
currencies struggled for clear direction as investors kept a
nervous eye on developments in Ukraine and ahead of a slew of
Chinese economic data.
The market is braced for China to report its slowest growth
in five years in the first quarter at a time when Beijing
appears to be resisting pressure to inject fresh stimulus into
"Investors are quite nervous about today's Q1 GDP print.
There have been plenty of reports highlighting the risk of China
growth falling short," said Stan Shamu, strategist at IG in
Caution ahead of the figures and news that Ukraine had
launched military operations against separatists, conspired to
weaken commodity currencies. The New Zealand dollar was further
hit by surprisingly soft inflation data at home.
The kiwi fell to its lowest in over a week at $0.8592
after annual inflation slowed to 1.5 percent, prompting
markets to pare back aggressive interest rate hike expectations
for this year.
Its Australian peer plumbed a one-week low at $0.9337
, having suffered its biggest one-day fall in a month.
Both Antipodean currencies also lost ground against the yen
and the euro.
The action among the G3 currencies was more subdued with the
euro drifting up from one-week lows against the dollar and yen
to last stand at $1.3811 and 140.69 yen.
The greenback, meanwhile, stayed under 102.00 yen,
having traded between 101.50 and 102.00, well within the
previous session's range. That left the dollar index just
a shade firmer at 79.802.
U.S. data out on Tuesday showed consumer prices firmed a bit
in March in a possible sign that a disinflationary trend had run
The increase should allay concerns among some Federal
Reserve officials that inflation was running too low, although
the rise was mild enough to suggest the central bank could keep
benchmark interest rates near zero for quite some time.
Traders said investors were waiting for a speech by Fed
Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak on monetary policy and
the economic recovery before the Economic Club of New York later
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)