The yen that rose against other major currencies in early Wednesday Asian deals pared its gains after 7:55 pm ET as investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the two-day policy meeting of the Bank of Japan. The yen plunged to new multi-month lows against the Australian and the Canadian dollars and a 2-day low against the NZ dollar.
Meanwhile, the yen eased from a 6-day high against the US dollar and a 1-week high against the euro and the franc.
The Bank of Japan is expected to hold interest rates at 0.1% and maintain its accomodative monetary policy stance till the economy experiences deflationary pressures.
The central bank has been holding the key rate at 0.1% since December 2008. In March, the policy board of the central bank, led by Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, doubled the amount of low-interest loans available to the money market to JPY 20 billion in a 5-2 split vote, in a bid to prevent a deepening in deflationary woes, following incessant pressure from the government.
Economists do not expect any further liquidity injection measures in the latest meeting. Julian Jessop, an economist at Capital Economics, said the entry of new member, Ryuzo Miyao, who succeeds Atsushi Mizuno, into the board is unlikely to change anything much. The next monetary policy decision is also due on April 30.
An upward revision in BoJ’s economic assessment is expected after business confidence amongst large Japanese manufacturers improved in the March quarter. Last week, the Tankan survey reflected the revival of the export market, led by solid demand from the emerging economies of Asia.
Japan’s official reserve assets totaled $1.042 trillion by the end of March, down $8.36 billion from February, the Ministry of Finance reported today. As of March 31, foreign currency reserves amounted to $990.51 billion, while reserves with the International Monetary Fund stood at $4.03 billion.
After a flat start and a subsequent rally, the Japanese stock market drifted down into negative territory with investors choosing to take some profits after recent gains. However, with a few front line stocks finding good support at lower levels, the market has rebounded into positive zone now.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which moved past 11,300 before before falling to around 11,260, is currently up 16.5 points or 0.15% at 11,299.
The yen that strengthened to a 6-day high of 93.57 against the US dollar at 7:55 pm ET weakened thereafter. As of now, the yen is worth 94.20 per dollar with 94.8 seen as the next downside target level.
The yen declined after reaching a 1-week high of 125.25 against the euro and 87.48 against the franc at 7:55 pm ET. At present, the yen is worth 88.03 against the franc and 126.03 against the euro. If the yen slides further, it may target 127.0 against the euro and 89.3 against the franc.
The yen rose to 142.67 against the pound before losing ground at 7:55 pm ET. Currently, the yen is trading at 143.82 against the pound. The next downside target level for the Japanese currency is seen at 144.8.
Shop price inflation in Great Britain declined in March to 1.2 percent compared to 1.7 percent in February, according to survey results reported today by the British Retail Consortium. Overall inflation declined to its lowest level since November.
The yen climbed to 86.75 against the Aussie, 93.44 against the Canadian dollar and 66.07 against the New Zealand dollar by about 7:55 pm ET. Thereafter, the yen dropped and it is presently trading at a 2-day low of 66.57 against the kiwi and new multi-month lows of 94.31 against the loonie and 87.46 against the Aussie. If the yen edges down further, it may likely target 90.0 against the aussie, 95.0 against the loonie and 67.0 against the kiwi.
Activity in Australia’s services sector remained weak in March, according to the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group and Commonwealth Bank. Their Performance Of Services Index for March shows a reading of 48.4 for March.
In the upcoming European session, Swiss retail sales for February, final services PMI reports for March from the major European economies, Euro-zone February PPI and the final fourth quarter GDP, German February factory orders are expected to influence trading.
Canada’s building permits for February and Ivey PMI for March are due out in the New York session.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to release its monthly consumer credit report at 3 pm ET.