FOREX-Dollar steady; Aussie jumps on inflation rise

Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:54am EST
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* Yen briefly blips higher after BOJ stands pat as expected

* Australian dollar jumps as inflation data deflates rate-cut risk

* Canadian dollar under pressure, with BOC in focus

By Lisa Twaronite and Ian Chua

TOKYO/SYDNEY, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The Australian dollar stole the spotlight on Wednesday, rallying against the greenback after an unexpected spike in inflation led investors to scale back bets on another interest rate cut.

The yen, meanwhile, briefly blipped to its session high after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady as most market participants had expected, though disappointed those hoping for additional easing measures sooner rather than later ahead of a scheduled sales tax hike in April.

"There is expectation, leading up to the increase in the consumption tax, that the BOJ is going to take more expansionary measures, so whether it was January or February or March, the general consensus is that something will be done in that period," said Bart Wakabayashi, head of forex at State Street Global Markets.

"So in that sense, maybe some thought it would happen this month, and it didn't," he said.

The BOJ clung doggedly to its upbeat consumer inflation forecasts, encouraged by signs that a broadening economic recovery may nudge firms into spending more on wages and investment. That suggested to some that no imminent monetary easing was on the horizon   Continued...