During early Asian deals on Thursday, the yen strengthened to multi-day highs against most major currencies as a fall in most Asian stocks prompted investors toward safe-haven Japanese currency.
The Japanese stock market is falling sharply today with investors indulging in some heavy profit taking after recent strong gains. The flat close on Wall Street, a decline in commodity prices and a stronger yen are also contributing to the fall.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is currently down 208.39 points or 1.88% at 10,881.66.
In economic news, Japan’s trade surplus stood at 948.9 billion yen on a customs-cleared basis in March, marking the 12th straight month in the black and a sharp improvement from the 5.4 billion yen deficit a year earlier.
According to a preliminary report released today by the Finance Ministry, exports increased 43.5% to 6 trillion yen, while imports rose 20.7% to 5.05 trillion yen. For all of fiscal 2009, the trade surplus totaled 5.23 trillion yen, compared with the previous year’s deficit of 764.8 billion yen. Exports fell 7.1% to 59.01 trillion yen while imports declined 25.2% to 53.78 trillion yen.
The yen climbed to a 3-day high of 124.07 against the euro and 86.63 against the Swiss franc in early Asian deals on Thursday. The next upside target level for the Japanese currency is seen at 123.2 against the euro and 86.0 against the franc. At present, the yen is worth 86.70 against the franc and 124.20 against the euro, compared to Wednesday’s close of 87.11 and 124.79, respectively.
In early Asian deals on Thursday, the yen rose to a 2-day high of 92.75 against the US dollar. This may be compared to yesterday’s close of 93.20. On the upside, 91.6 is seen as the next target level for the yen. The dollar-yen pair is currently worth 92.80.
The yen that closed yesterday’s trading at 143.64 against the pound strengthened to 142.87 during early Asian deals on Thursday. If the yen climbs further, it may likely target the 142.0 level. The pound-yen pair is currently trading at 143.05.
During early Asian deals on Thursday, the yen soared to a 2-day high of 65.88 against the NZ dollar, 85.87 against the Aussie and 92.80 against the Canadian dollar. The next upside target level for the yen is seen at 64.8 against the kiwi, 85.5 against the aussie and 92.0 against the loonie.
The kiwi-yen pair closed yesterday’s trading at 66.17, aussie-yen pair at 86.37 and the loonie-yen pair at 93.26.
In the upcoming European session, French business confidence indicator for April, Swiss trade balance for March, PMI reports from the major European economies for the month of April and the U.K. March retail sales are expected.
The U.S. PPI and existing home sales report- both for March and the weekly jobless claims data for the week ended April 17 and the Canadian leading indicators for March have been slated for release in the New York session.