Friday, March 25, 2016

Forex - Yen weaker after CPI comes in flat for February

Investing.com - Investing.com - The yen traded weaker in Asia on Friday with some markets closed to mark Good Friday in a thin trading day.

USD/JPY changed hands at 113.06, up 0.14%, while AUD/USD eased 0.04% to 0.7526.

In Japan, national core CPI was flat year-on-year in February, missing expectations for a 0.1% gain, while national CPI gained a more than expected 0.3%.

The core consumer price index - excluding volatile perishables - has held flat for two months in a row after rising 0.1% in the previous two months.

Inflation has failed to pick up even at a gradual pace expected by the Bank of Japan as energy and commodity prices remain weak and average wage growth is flat. Government and BoJ officials are still counting on a tightening labor supply and a modest economic recovery to push up consumer prices.

Also in Japan, the corporate services price index rose 0.2% year-on-year in February, compared to a 0.3% gain the previous month.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.11% to 96.17.

Overnight, the dollar held onto gains against the other major currencies in quiet trade on Thursday, after the release of relatively positive U.S. data and as hopes for a U.S. rate hike in April continued to support the greenback.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending March 19 increased by 6,000 to 265,000 from the previous week's total of 259,000. Analysts expected jobless claims to rise by 9,000 to 268,000 last week.

Separately, the Commerce Department said that total U.S. durable goods orders, which include transportation items, fell 2.8% last month, compared to economists' expectations for a decrease of 2.9%.

Core durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, fell 1.0% last month, more than forecasts for a 0.2% decline. The greenback remained supported after several Federal Reserve members signaled the possibility for a U.S. rate hike in April.

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