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BoK chief sees more conflict between targets By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New South Korean central bank chief Ri Chang-yong speaks during his inauguration ceremony in Seoul, South Korea on April 21, 2022. SeongJoon Cho/Pool via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank chief said on Sunday that it will likely face an increasing clash of policy objectives in 2023 as the impact of the latest aggressive policy tightening materializes in earnest.

“It will be a year in which complex policy mixes are more important than ever due to the growing possibility of conflict between inflation, economic growth and financial stability,” said the governor, Ri Chang-yong, in his New Year’s address.

He said the rapid cooling in the real estate market could cause financial market instability, with the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 situation in China listed as major sources of uncertainty facing the country’s economy and inflation.

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UK announces cash support for low-income families via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk along a busy shopping street, during the traditional Boxing Day sale in London, Britain, December 26, 2022. REUTERS/Maja Smijkowska

(Reuters) – Britain’s Department of Work and Pensions said on Tuesday that millions of low-income families in Britain will receive cost-of-living support of up to 900 pounds ($1,084) from the government over the course of the financial year.

The administration said in a statement that the money will go directly to the plaintiffs’ bank accounts in three installments during the fiscal year.

The monetary support was announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement alongside a series of tax hikes and tightening public spending. The government did not give details of the payment schedule at the time.

The ministry said there will also be 150 pounds separately for more than six million disabled people and 300 pounds for more than eight million pensioners.

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The latest support package follows a £1,200 cash support scheme for low-income families last year as Britain grapples with a cost of living crisis amid a challenging economic environment.

($1 = 0.8296 pounds)

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Cash support for low-income British families for at least 12 months

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The government announced on Tuesday that millions of low-income families in Britain will receive payments of up to £1,350 spread over at least 12 months, as part of its measures aimed at easing the cost of living crisis.

The extra aid was first announced by chancellor Jeremy Hunt in November Autumn statement But the government has not previously specified when the additional money will be paid.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the bulk of the money would consist of £900 cost of living More than 8 million households have paid in three installments over about 12 months from spring 2023.

More than 6m individuals on disability benefits will also get a separate £150 payment this summer, while an estimated 8m pensioners will get an extra £300 next winter.

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“Tackling inflation is this government’s number one priority and is the only way to ease high price pressures, drive long-term economic growth and improve living standards for all,” Hunt said.

According to the latest numbersInflation was at 10.7 percent in November.

The latest support package follows payments of up to £1,200 extra in cash to low-income families last year, and comes as the government faces a wave of industrial action by public sector workers demanding better wages to help them cope with the rising cost of living.

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, has backed away from wage demands, arguing that large public sector salaries increase the risk of stoking inflation.

Railways will strike this week in a dispute over wages, while members of the Royal College of Nursing will stage a second round of strike on January 18-19 after the government rejected demands for a 19 per cent increase in wages and better working conditions. Ambulance workers at five NHS England boxes will also strike later this month.

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Speaking over the weekend, Sunak said he had taken “difficult but fair decisions to control borrowing and debt,” adding that his government had helped the most vulnerable with higher energy bills.

The government has stressed that the latest payments are on top of other support measures, which include a council tax rebate for some households and a £400 global energy rebate which will run until March.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said the latest payments were designed to “protect the most vulnerable”.

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Dollar Stable as Investors Await Economic Data, Fed Meeting Minutes via Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: One hundred US dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken in Seoul on February 7, 2011. REUTERS/Lee Jae-won

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The US dollar was mostly flat on Tuesday as investors awaited a slew of economic data this week along with minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting that will shed light on the central bank’s thinking on interest rates and inflation.

The currency pair, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, had a quiet start to 2023 and was last up 0.068% at 103.710. The index rose 8 percent last year, its biggest annual jump since 2015, on the back of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to combat inflation.

Christopher Wong, currency analyst at OCBC Bank in Singapore, said the dollar is likely to strengthen as “market activity gradually picks up this week.”

After raising it four times in a row by 75 basis points, the US central bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points last month. Minutes of the December meeting are due for release on Wednesday, as investors look for clues about the path the Fed is likely to take in 2023.

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Citi strategists said the minutes could become more interesting as there could be more divergence between doves and hawks regarding how high the final interest rate should be.

“We will also be looking for any clue as to what could determine the size of the increase at the February meeting, but we don’t expect any concrete guidance,” Citi said, adding that they still expect a 50 basis point increase in February.

Investors’ attention will also be on the jobs report scheduled for release on Friday.

Elsewhere, the Japanese yen rose 0.46% against the dollar at 130.12 per dollar, marking its highest level since June.

It reported on Saturday that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) is considering raising inflation forecasts in January to show price growth close to its 2% target in fiscal 2023 and 2024.

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The upgrades to inflation expectations from the BoJ are likely to lead to further speculation that the central bank is looking to adjust its ultra-loose monetary easing policy and may come after the BoJ jolted the markets by expanding its 10-year yield ceiling.

Meanwhile, the euro fell 0.07% to $1.0655, while the British pound was last trading at $1.2037, down 0.07% on the day.

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