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Forex - Japanese yen jumps after stronger than expected Q1 GDP

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Shutterstock photo - - The Japanese yen jumped against the dollar on Thursday in Asia after stronger than expected first quarter GDP data that was boosted by a spending spree ahead of a sales tax hike to 8% from 5% that took effect April 1.

Japan preliminary real GDP for the first quarter rose 1.5%, compared to a 1.0% gain expected. USD/JPY traded at 101.75, down 0.14%, after the data.

The stronger data however may be a blip as households are expected to pare back spending this quarter.

Later in the session at 1400 Tokyo (0500 GMT) the Consumer Confidence Index for April is expected.

New Zealand details its budget for the fiscal year starting June 1 at 1400 local (0200 GMT).

Tthe Reserve Bank of Australia's Luci Ellis, head of the Financial Stability Department, son Thursday said a repeat of the 2002-2003 housing price boom was unlikely.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9368, down 0.11%.

Overnight the dollar traded largely lower against most major currencies in subdued trading as bargain hunters sent the euro rising on sentiments a European Central Bank decision to trim interest rates in June has been priced into trading.

Reuters reported earlier that the ECB is preparing a "package of measures" including cuts to all interest rates, with negative rates on bank deposits to encourage lending to small and medium-sized businesses to spur recovery.

A day earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported the German central bank Bundesbank would back ECB monetary easing measures, including a negative rate on bank deposits and purchases of packaged bank loans, if such tools were needed to keep persistently low levels of inflation from becoming entrenched in the euro zone.

Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi said monetary authorities were "comfortable" with acting at its next meeting in June.

Meanwhile in the U.S., producer price inflation rose more than expected in April, while core wholesale prices also topped forecasts, official data showed on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that producer prices increased by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.

The Federal Reserve views core prices as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.05% at 80.08.

On Thursday, the U.S. is to release data on initial jobless claims, consumer inflation and industrial production, as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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