The Japanese yen strengthened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Monday amid rising aversion, as upbeat U.S. jobs data released on Friday raised concerns about the outlook for U.S. interest rates.
Data from the Labor Department showed Friday that the non-farm payroll employment jumped by 280,000 jobs in May, compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 225,000 jobs.
The mixed trade data today out of China also impacted Asian stocks. While exports fell by a smaller-than-expected 2.5 percent in May from a year earlier, imports tumbled 17.6 percent compared with a 16.2 percent drop in April, official data showed.
The Japanese market slipped into negative territory after opening higher despite the release of upbeat Japanese GDP data. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is currently down 42.27 points or 0.21 percent at 20,418. Data from the Cabinet Office showed that Japan’s gross domestic product expanded 3.9 percent on year in the first quarter of 2015. That was well above of forecasts for 2.8 percent and up from the February 15 preliminary reading of a 2.4 percent rise.
GDP for the fourth quarter was revised 1.2 percent.
Traders also kept an eye on the latest developments in Greece, as the debt-plagued nation and its international creditors continued to struggle to reach an agreement.
Friday, the yen fell 0.94 percent against the U.S. dollar, 0.13 percent against the pound and 0.29 percent against the Swiss franc.
In the Asian trading today, the yen rose to a 1-week high of 88.32 against the NZ dollar and a 4-day high of 95.44 against the Australian dollar from Friday’s closing quotes of 88.43 and 95.69, respectively. If the yen extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 87.50 against the kiwi and 94.00 against the aussie.
Against the euro, the pound and the Swiss franc, the yen advanced to 139.03, 191.25 and 133.06 from last week’s closing quotes of 139.49, 191.74 and 133.52, respectively. On the upside, 134.00 against the euro, 187.00 against the pound, 128.00 against the franc are seen as the next resistance level for the yen.
Against the U.S. and the Canadian dollars, the yen edged up to 125.28 and 100.50 from Friday’s closing quotes of 125.57 and 100.94, respectively. The yen may test resistance around 120.50 against the greenback and 97.50 against the loonie.
Looking ahead, German trade balance and industrial production for April is due to be released at 2:00 am ET.
In the European session, Eurozone Sentix investor confidence index for June is slated for release.
In the New York session, Canada housing starts for May, building permits for April and U.S. labor market conditions index for May are set to be published.
At 4:30 pm ET, Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins will participate in a panel discussion at the Conference of Montreal,Canada.
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