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Forex - USD/JPY extends multi-year highs as talk of U.S. recovery builds

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar continued to reach to highs against the yen not seen since 2009 on Monday as investors snapped up the greenback on expectations for an eventual end of measures that weaken the greenback by design to spur recovery.

In U.S. trading on Monday, USD/JPY was trading at 96.26, up 0.23%, up from a session low of 95.94 and off a high of 96.36.

The pair was likely to find resistance at 96.56, Friday's high, and support at 95.05, the low from Aug. 13, 2009.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that U.S. economy added 236,000 nonfarm payrolls in February, way more than an expected 160,000 jobs and up above 119,000 reported in January.

The headline unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in February from 7.9% in January, beating analysts' calls for the rate to remain unchanged.

The numbers continued to send investors favoring the dollar over the yen on Monday amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will wind down stimulus programs designed to spur job demand by flooding the economy with liquidity to encourage investing and hiring, which weaken the U.S. currency as a side effect.

Meanwhile the yen continued to come under pressure on sentiments that new leadership at the Bank of Japan will open the door to looser monetary policies.

The Bank of Japan met late last week and made no changes to interest rates or to its JPY76 trillion asset purchasing-program at Governor Masaaki Shirakawa's final meeting before incoming governor Haruhiko Kuroda takes over.

Kuroda, a former president of the Asian Development Bank, is a fan of aggressive monetary easing in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has long prioritized economic growth over keeping inflation rates in a tight range.

The yen, meanwhile was down against the pound and down against the euro, with GBP/JPY up 0.38% and trading at 143.75 and EUR/JPY trading up 0.57% at 125.53.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan will publish the minutes of its monetary policy meeting, giving investors more detailed insight into economic conditions from the bank's perspective.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to publish data on the federal budget balance.

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