It was a subdued session across major FX rates. The news that United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet late next week then provided small moves (see bullets above). Yen crosses gained a few points and equities caught a bid. The kiwi $ was an outperformer while cable was at the other end of the spectrum. Gold lost ground.

In other events, Federal Reserve Cleveland President Loretta Mester spoke without adding to much new to our understanding of FOMC thinking. A rate hike is coming in March and there will more following was the gist of her messaging.

Japanese January inflation data was published. The headline figure was positive for the fifth month in a row. The result for CPI excluding food and energy, which is the closest to the US measure of core CPI, though, was -0.7% y/y. There is little to show Japanese inflation is getting anywhere near the Bank of Japan 2% target (for core inflation). But we know that.

Bitcoin lost some more ground after its drop during the US timezone.

Gold down on the Blinken-Lavrov news:

gold lavron blinken 18 February 2022