Rupee extends weakness against U.S. dollar, slips 13 paise

Trump Attacks Fed Reserve Chairman For Not Acting Like A 'Cheap Money' Central Banker

At the same time, their trade war escalated with another round of duelling tariffs on $16 billion worth of each country's goods taking effect.

At 0650 GMT the rand was 0.5 percent firmer at 14.3200 per dollar, a touch off its overnight run to 14.2150.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.6 percent.

Talks between USA and Chinese officials in Washington over trade will continue on Thursday, although most analysts do not expect much headway to be made, with risks growing that the conflict will descend into a growth-sapping tariff war.

It was still up about 0.85 percent on the week.

Australian stocks rose 0.2 percent, South Korea's KOSPI fell 0.35 percent and Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.3 percent.

The S&P 500 shed 0.17 percent overnight to pull back slightly from a record high scaled midweek, with industrial shares sagging after the United States and China imposed a fresh round of trade tariffs on each other.

In immediate focus was the speech by the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to be given later on Friday at the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, meeting of central bankers.

The greenback also found support after the Fed's minutes showed officials discussed raising interest rates soon to counter US economic strength. Caterpillar shares fell 2.0 percent, and Boeing shares fell 0.7 percent.

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Investors will especially want to hear whether Powell addresses the central question of whether any of those developments might lead the Fed to alter its plan to raise interest rates two more times this year and to keep raising them next year as well.

NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Key U.S. government debt yields slid to six-week lows on a flight to safety and the dollar slid further on Wednesday as investors weighed how a conviction and a guilty plea of former advisers will impact U.S. President Donald Trump.

"Any comments on current Fed policy will draw even more than the usual attention given recent and unprecedented criticism of the Fed by President Trump", Larry Hatheway, chief economist at GAM Investments, told Bloomberg News.

"Our job at the Fed is to make decisions on monetary policy and supervision without regard to political considerations, and I'm confident we'll continue to do that", Robert Kaplan, head of the Fed's Dallas regional bank, said in an interview with CNBC.

The dollar index was 0.1 per cent higher at 95.334, while the euro fell 0.1 per cent on the day at US$1.1558. But Hong Kong lost 0.4 percent in the afternoon and Singapore slipped 0.8 percent with Taipei, Manila and Jakarta also down.

The euro was down about 0.55 percent at $1.153, easing from a two-week high of $1.162.

Turnbull said he would hold a second leadership vote on Friday if he received a letter signed by the majority of the ruling Liberal party.

The Aussie dollar tumbled 1.4 percent on Thursday to become the worst performing G10 currency, after hitting its lowest since January 2017 of A$0.7202 last week, as the country was gripped by political uncertainty.

Oil prices rose more than 2 percent, with Brent hitting a two-week high, after US government data showed a larger-than-expected draw in domestic crude inventories and as Washington's sanctions on Iran signaled tightening supplies. While the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing darkens the economic outlook, the supply versus demand position in oil markets remains relatively tight -especially because of the looming USA sanctions against Iran.

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