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Forex - Yen, Aussie trade weaker in Asia, light data day

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The yen and Aussie held weaker in Asia on Monday with no major data ahead and a holiday-thinned trading week begins.

USD/JPY changed hands at 121.30, up 0.12%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7167, down 0.27%. NZD/USD traded at 0.6730, up 0.06%.

In New Zealand, the Westpac consumer sentiment reading rose to 110.7 in the fourth quarter from 106.00 in the previous quarter.

In the week ahead, trading volumes are expected to remain light due to the Christmas holiday and as many traders already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility.

The U.S. is to release key reports on gross domestic product, durable goods orders, home sales and jobless claims.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended Friday's session down 0.47% at 98.73.

Last week, the yen rose sharply against the U.S. dollar on Friday, after the latest easing measures from the Bank of Japan fell short of market expectations.

The BoJ kept its main monetary stimulus target unchanged at ¥80 trillion Friday, but decided to extend the maturity of the Japanese government bonds it purchases from 10 to 12 years and set up a ¥300 billion fund to buy exchange-traded funds.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar weakened on Friday, one day after rising to a two-week high as markets continued to digest the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

Commenting on the decision, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the FOMC will not be mechanical in its approach to normalize monetary policy and that future rate hikes would be gradual and data dependent.

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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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