Investing.com - The Japanese yen strengthened further in early
Asia on Friday after consumer price, unemployment and household
spending data presented a mixed economic picture.
USD/JPY traded at 103.67, down 0.06%, after the data, while
AUD/USD held flat at 0.9356.
National core CPI data for July, year-on-year in Japan rose
3.3%, meeting expectations and posting a 14th straight gain.
At the same time, the unemployment rate edged higher to 3.8%,
compared to an expected 3.7% for July. Household spending fell
5.9%, slumping more than a forecast 3.0% year-on-year drop in real
terms and notching a fourth consecutive year-on-year drop.
Then there's July retail sales and industrial production due at
0850 (2350 GMT).
Industrial production is forecast at +0.3% gain month-on-month,
the first rise in two months, while retail sales gained a
forecasted 0.1%, breaking straight falls following a sales tax hike
in April to 8% from 5%.
Later in the session at 1130 in Sydney (0130 GMT), the RBA's
July private sector credit data are due. Private sector credit is
forecast to rise 0.5% month-on-month in July, slowing slightly from
0.7% rise in June.
Back to Japan before the week ends, there's July housing starts
data at 1400 (0500 GMT), expected to show a drop of 10.5%
Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against most major
currencies after data revealed the U.S. economy is growing, the
labor market improving and pending home sales on the rise, though
escalating tensions in Ukraine watered down the greenback's
A top Ukrainian military official was reported as saying earlier
that a "full-scale invasion" was taking place in the country, while
separate reports that up to 1,000 Russian troops were in Ukraine to
assist pro-Russian rebels watered down demand for the dollar.
The U.N., meanwhile, was holding an emergency meeting to address
the crisis, which sent investors sidestepping the dollar on fears
military conflicts will dampen the global recovery and drag on the
U.S. economy as a consequence.
The dollar firmed earlier and held onto gains stemming from
upbeat U.S. data before geopolitical concerns sparked profit
The U.S. gross domestic product grew at a revised annualized
rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of this year, according to the
Commerce Department, up from a preliminary estimate of 4.0% and
better than market forecasts for a downward revision to 3.9%.
The numbers firmed the dollar earlier by cementing expectations
that the Federal Reserve will close its bond-buying program around
October and hike benchmark interest rates some time in 2015.
Elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of
individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending
Aug. 22 declined by 1,000 to 298,000 from the previous week's
revised total of 299,000.
Analysts were expecting the figure to rise by 1,000 instead of
contract by that amount, which gave the greenback support.
A separate report showed that U.S. pending home sales increased
by 3.3% last month, beating expectations for a 0.5% rise. June's
figure was revised to a 1.3% drop from a previously estimated
decline of 1.1%.
In Europe, data revealed that the number of unemployed people in
Germany rose by 2,000 last month, confounding expectations for a
decline of 5,000. The change in the number of unemployed people for
June was revised to a 11,000 drop from a previously estimated
The euro had found support earlier, as expectations for fresh
stimulus measures by the European Central Bank slightly eased after
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said on Wednesday that
ECB President Mario Draghi's recent comments on the matter have
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the
greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was flat
On Friday, expect the greenback to move on U.S. personal
spending and income reports, a Chicago-area factory gauge and
consumer sentiment figures.
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