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Forex - Japanese yen weaker in Asia, Aussie gains in light data day

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Shutterstock photo - - The Japanese yen weakened in early Asia on Friday in a light data day in the region, while the Australian dollar gained.

USD/JPY traded at 106.44, up 0.09%, and AUD/USD changed hands at 0.8770, up 0.14%. EUR USD was at 1.2803, down 0.05%.

Overnight, better-than-expected reports on U.S. jobless claims and industrial production sent the dollar firming against most main currencies.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Oct. 11 fell by 23,000 to 264,000 from the previous week's total of 287,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 3,000 to 290,000 last week, and the upbeat report bolstered the dollar by fueling hopes that the U.S. economy continues to recover despite potholes here and there.

On Wednesday, the dollar fell on soft U.S. retail sales and wholesale pricing reports.

Elsewhere on Thursday, data revealed that U.S. industrial production climbed 1.0% last month, beating expectations for a 0.4% rise. The August figure was revised to a 0.2% slip from a previously estimated 0.1% downtick.

In addition, the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia said its manufacturing index fell to 20.7 this month from a reading of 22.5 in September. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 20.0 in October.

The greenback also saw support after U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention would send rapid response teams to any new suspected Ebola cases in the U.S.

Obama's comments came after the infection of a second Texas healthcare worker.

Meanwhile in the euro zone, revised data earlier showed that the continent's consumer price index remained at 0.3% in September, in line with expectations.

Core CPI, which excludes food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco, ticked up to 0.8% last month from an initial estimate of 0.7%.

Still, European Central Bank officials have said they will do whatever necessary to steer the continent away from deflationary decline, comments the bolstered the greenback over the single currency on Thursday, especially as euro zone periphery bond yields dipped.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.02% at 85.01.

On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with reports on building permits and housing starts, as well as a preliminary report on consumer sentiment. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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