Forex - Yen steady ahead of current account data

Shutterstock photo - - The Japanese yen was flat to slightly stronger in early Asian trade Monday while the Australian dollar eased ahead of data releases to start a shortened week for many of the region's trading centers with a holiday on Tuesday.

USD/JPY traded at 101.85, down 0.01%, while AUD/USD held at 0.9361, down 0.02%. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, traded at 79.91, down 0.01%.

In Japan, April bank lending, portfolio investment and March current account balance are due at 0850 Tokyo time (2350 GMT). The median forecast for the current account balance is for a surplus of ¥305.0 billion, which would be the second consecutive monthly surplus after ¥612.7 billion in February.

In Australia, the NAB's business survey for April is due a day earlier than usual because of federal budget. Business conditions are expected to be little changed from plus 1, but there's a risk that confidence could weaken from plus 4 if businesses react to reports of a tighter budget.

Last week, the euro fell to one-month lows against the dollar Friday, extending steep losses from the previous session after the European Central Bank indicated that it could ease monetary policy as soon as next month.

The euro fell from two-and-a-half year highs against the dollar on Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi said the banks is "comfortable" with acting to shore up growth and stop inflation from falling too low at its next meeting in June. The comments came after the ECB left rates on hold, as expected.

Draghi also said the strength of the euro was "a serious concern" and added that the bank would be closely monitoring exchange rate developments.

The single currency came under additional pressure after data on Friday showed that German exports fell 1.8% from a month earlier in March and the country posted a smaller-than-forecast trade surplus.

Elsewhere, the dollar gained ground against the yen and the Swiss franc.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to the BoE's quarterly inflation report for further indications of the expected course of monetary policy. The euro zone and Japan are to release preliminary data on first quarter economic growth, while the U.S. is to publish reports on retail sales, consumer prices and consumer sentiment.

On Monday in Europe, Switzerland is to produce data on retail sales, the government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity.

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

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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