The yen held flat to weaker on Thursday as trade data showed a fifth straight monthly deficit while the New Zealand dolalr eased on GDP as markets across the region braced for whether the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates. USD/JPY changed hands at 120.55, flat, while NZD/USD traded at 0.6347, down 0.29. AUD/USD traded at 0.7194, down 0.04%. In New Zealand, second quarter GDP data rose 0.4% quarter-on-quarter, below the 0.5% gain seen, but meeting expectations of a year-on-year increase. Looking ahead, the recent rebound in dairy prices would be supportive of growth but this could be offset by drought risks. Overall it doesn’t change expectation for further easing in the official cash rate by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. In Japan, August trade data showed a deficit of ¥57.0 billion, compared to a deficit of ¥54.1 billion seen for a fifth straight monthly deficit, while imports fell 3.1%, more than the 2.2% drop seen and exports rose 3.1%, less that the 4.0% gain seen. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.02% at 95.49. Overnight, the dollar pushed lower against against the other major currencies on Wednesday, after data showed that U.S. inflation ticked lower last month and as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s highly-anticipated policy statement due on Thursday. The Commerce Department said consumer prices edged down by 0.1% last month, in line with forecasts following a 0.1% increase in July. Consumer prices inched up 0.2% on a year-over-year basis, in line with expectations. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, increased by 0.1%, also in line with the consensus forecast and was 0.2% higher from the same month a year earlier. Investors remained cautious amid uncertainty over whether the Fed would hike short term interest rates for the first time in almost a decade on Thursday. An increase in interest rates would boost the greenback by making it more attractive to yield-seeking investors. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said that an interest rate increase is data dependent but has also indicated that she expects to begin raising rates before the end of the year.