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11.03.2013 07:23

Asian session: The dollar approached its highest level in 3 1/2 years versus the yen

06:00 Japan Prelim Machine Tool Orders, y/y February -26.1% -21.5%


The dollar approached its highest level in 3 1/2 years versus the yen as signs of a strengthening recovery in the world’s biggest economy boosted demand for the U.S. currency.

The Dollar Index traded near its strongest in seven months on prospects data in two days will show a gain in retail sales, following reports last week that said the jobless rate dropped and payrolls increased. Sales at U.S. retailers probably rose 0.5 percent last month after a 0.1 percent gain in January, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News before the Commerce Department releases the figures on March 13.

The yen was 0.8 percent from its lowest level in three weeks against the euro after Japan’s machine orders fell more than expected and Haruhiko Kuroda, the nominee for central bank governor, said current monetary easing efforts aren’t enough to beat deflation. Japan’s Cabinet Office said today machine orders fell 13.1 percent in January, exceeding the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey for a 1.7 percent drop. Today’s report adds to evidence of a slowdown in Asia’s second-biggest economy. Kuroda, who currently serves as president of the Asian Development Bank, told Japanese lawmakers today the central bank should consider buying large amounts of longer-term debt to achieve its 2 percent inflation target as soon as possible. The yen won’t weaken forever amid expectations for monetary easing, he said.

In Europe, economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predict France’s statistics office will say today industrial production fell 0.2 percent in January after a 0.1 percent drop in the previous month.

Australia’s dollar fell after data showed industrial production in China, the South Pacific nation’s biggest trading partner, had its slowest start to a year since 2009.


EUR / USD: during the Asian session the pair was trading around $ 1.3000.

GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.4900-25.

USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of Y95.95-25.


There is a muted calendar Monday, with only second tier releases expected in the US. However, there is plenty to focus on in Europe. Firstly, markets will have to take on board the Italy downgrade by Fitch seen after the markets closed Friday.  The data calendar gets underway at 0700GMT, with the release of German fourth quarter labour costs and the January trade balance numbers. At 0745GMT, French January industrial output numbers will hit the screens. At 0900GMT, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio is set to give a keynote speech at a London conference entitled "Financial Regulation: Towards a global regulatory framework?" Further Italy data is expected at 1000GMT, when fourth quarter final GDP data is expected. GDP is seen down 0.9% q/q and down 2.7% on year. At 1100GMT, the OECD January leading indicator numbers will cross the wires. A light data calendar for the UK Monday, interest this week seen Tuesday with release of UK IP and NIESR's GDP forecast.

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