Investing.com - The Japanese yen traded flat agains the dollar
in early Asian trade on Friday after better than expected
industrial production and retail sales data from Japan.
Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry reported on
Friday that industrial production in January rose 4% against an
expectation of 3%. In December it rose by 0.9%. Year-on-year retail
sales rose 4.4% in January against a forecast of a 3.8% rise and
the previous increase of 2.6%.
Japan's Statistics Bureau also reported on Friday that YoY Tokyo
core CPI rose 0.9% in January against a forecast of 0.8% and a
previous figure of 0.7%. Year-on-year Tokyo CPI also rose 1.1% in
comparison to 0.7% rise a year earlier.
Japan also said that year-on-year household spending rose by
1.1% against a forecast of a 0.2% rise and a 0.7% rise a year
In New Zealand, ANZ reported that business confidence index rose
to 70.8% in February from 64.1% in December, surging to the higest
level since 1994.
Private sector credit in Australia rose 0.4%, matching
expectations. In December it rose by 0.5%.
In early trade USD/JPY traded flat at 102.12, AUD/USD was down
0.09% at 0.8957. while NZD/USD fell 0.04% at 0.8365.
On Thursday, the dollar weakened against most major currencies
after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. legislators
monetary authorities were concerned over soft economic indicators
though monetary policy remains on course for now.
Disappointing weekly jobless claims numbers softened the
greenback as well.
Recent manufacturing, jobs and other economic indicators have
disappointed markets, leaving investors unclear if recovery has hit
a soft patch or if a string of winter storms has put commerce
temporarily on hold.
Speaking before the Senate banking committee, Yellen told
lawmakers it was hard to say how much the recent soft data was due
to rough winter weather and added that the bank would remain
attentive to signals on whether the recovery is progressing in line
Her comments softened the dollar by clouding expectations as to
how slowly the Fed will taper its monthly bond-buying program,
which weakens the greenback by suppressing long-term interest rates
to spur recovery.
Also softening the dollar, weekly data revealed that the number
of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last
week rose more than expected.
The Labor Department said the number of people filing for
initial jobless benefits rose by 14,000 to 348,000 from the
previous week's total of 334,000. Analysts had expected an increase
of just 1,000, and the numbers rekindled expectations for a very
gradual tapering of Fed asset purchases.
Also on Thursday, the Commerce Department reported that U.S.
durable goods orders declined by a seasonally adjusted 1% last
month, less than expectations for a 1.5% drop.
Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation
items, rose 1.1% in January, the largest increase since May,
confounding forecasts for a 0.3% decline, which gave the dollar
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback
versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.01% at
On Friday, the U.S. is to released revised data on
fourth-quarter growth, a report on manufacturing activity in the
Chicago region, revised data on consumer sentiment and
private-sector data on pending home sales.
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