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00:00 Australia Bank holiday
00:00 New Zealand Bank holiday
05:00 Japan Housing Starts, y/y February +5.0% -1.0% +3.0%
The yen headed for its longest string of monthly losses in more than a decade on prospects lingering deflation will prompt Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to boost stimulus measures at a policy meeting next week.
The Japanese currency slid versus the dollar this quarter as Kuroda pledged action to achieve the central bank’s 2 percent annual inflation target. Kuroda will preside over his first BOJ policy meeting on April 3-4. A report today showed consumer-price declines accelerated in February at the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years. Japan’s consumer prices fell 0.7 percent in February from a year earlier, compared with a 0.3 percent decline in the previous period, the statistics bureau reported in Tokyo today. That’s the biggest drop since August 2010 and in line with the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The euro weakened against the greenback, extending a quarterly drop, as Italy’s search for a prime minister continues. In Italy, President Giorgio Napolitano took charge of the search for the next prime minister after Pier Luigi Bersani was unable to assemble a majority in the divided parliament. Napolitano will consult political leaders today.
The euro strengthened yesterday after Cyprus averted panic withdrawals as banks opened for the first time in almost two weeks, with government controls on access to cash leading to orderly lines rather than runs on deposits.
The Australian dollar rose before the Reserve Bank meets next week.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.2835.
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair rose to $ 1.5220.
USD / JPY: during the Asian session the pair fell to Y93.95.
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