Forex - USD/JPY fluctuate after industrial production data in Japan

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Investing.com - USD/JYP fluctuated between small gains and losses on Friday during Asian trading hours after Japanese industrial production rose less than expected in December and core CPI remained unchanged.

According to figures released by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's industrial production in December rose by 1.1% against the expected rise of 1.2% and previous fall of 0.1%. Earlier in the day Statistics Bureau reported that country's core consumer price index remained unchanged at 0.7% as per expectation.

USD/JPY fell 0.02% at 102.69, NZD/USD fell 0.17% at 0.8152, while AUD/USD traded flat at 0.8797.

On Thursday, the greenback firmed against most major currencies after the U.S. reported its economy grew at a healthy pace in the fourth quarter of last year.

The dollar rallied after the Commerce Department said gross domestic product expanded 3.2% in the three months to December, in line with most forecasts, even outpacing some, following a 4.1% rise in the third quarter.

Consumer spending rose by 3.3%, the strongest since the fourth quarter of 2010, which markets applauded especially, while exports grew by 11.4%.

The data strengthened the dollar by cementing market expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue trimming its monthly bond-buying program, which weakens the greenback pushing down long-term interest rates.

Elsewhere on Thursday, the Labor Department said the number of individuals filing for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose by 19,000 to 348,000 from the previous week's revised total of 329,000.

Analysts were expecting the figure to remain relatively unchanged at 330,000, though investors shrugged off the data.

Separately, the National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index dropped by a seasonally adjusted 8.7% last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% gain, which also failed to dampen spirits.

Rough winter weather has taken its toll on recent economic indicators, though general market attitudes persist that U.S. recovery remains on track.

Rising stock prices in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere also bolstered the dollar as fears emerging-market contagion may spread cooled somewhat.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.01% at 81.16.

Later today, the U.S. is to round up the week with a report on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region, revised data on consumer sentiment and a report on personal spending.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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