Friday, the Japanese yen that edged up against its major counterparts in early Asian deals reversed direction around 7:35 pm ET. The yen eased from new multi-month highs against the euro and the franc and 2-day highs against the dollar and the pound.
Japan’s CPI, unemployment rate, industrial production and the BoJ minutes released earlier in the day likely influenced the yen.
The Bank of Japan’s board members unanimously agreed that further steps likely would be required to hold deflationary pressures at bay, minutes for the BoJ’s unscheduled monetary policy meeting on December 1 revealed today.
The members also agreed that business sentiment was continuing to worsen, due mainly to deflation and a strengthening yen. They decided that lowering long-term rates may help the economy.
Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications reported that the core consumer prices dropped 1.3% year-on-year in December compared to the 1.7% fall in the preceding month. Economists had expected a 1.7% decline. This is the tenth consecutive month in which core consumer prices have fallen.
Month-on-month, the core CPI dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in December, reversing the 0.1% increase in November.
A separate report showed that the unemployment rate in Japan fell to 5.1 percent in December from November’s 5.2%. That was better than forecasts for 5.3 percent rise.
An index measuring industrial production in Japan climbed 2.2 percent in December, slightly below analyst expectations for a 2.5 percent monthly increase.
On an annual basis, output was up 5.3 percent – again missing forecasts for a 5.7 percent increase after the 4.2 percent contraction in the previous month.
Looking ahead, Japan’s housing starts report for December is due at 12:00 am ET.
Against the Swiss franc, the yen eased from more than a 2-month high of 85.05 hit at 7:35 pm ET. At present, the franc-yen pair is trading at 85.49, compared to yesterday’s close of 85.51.
The yen, which rose to a 2-day high of 144.49 against the pound at 7:35 pm ET reversed its direction thereafter. The current quote for the pound-yen pair is 145.07. This may be compared to Thursday’s New York session close of 145.12.
At 7:35 pm ET, the Japanese yen climbed to a 2-day high of 89.60 against the U.S. dollar. However, the yen declined thereafter. Presently, the greenback-yen pair is trading near Thursday’s New York session close of 89.94.
The Japanese yen, which touched more than a 9-month high of 124.83 against the euro at 7:35 pm ET failed to sustain its momentum thereafter and slipped gradually. The euro-yen pair, which closed Thursday’s New York deals at 125.64 is now worth 125.42.
In the upcoming European session, the U.K. Nation wide house prices for January, Italy’s PPI, unemployment rate and Euro-zone unemployment rate-all for the month of December, Euro-zone CPI estimate for January are slated for release. In addition, Switzerland’s KOF leading indicator for January is also scheduled for release.
Turning to the North American session, the U.S. advance fourth quarter GDP, Chicago PMI and the final report from the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence-both for the month of January are likely to influence trading.