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The yen fell versus its 16 major peers after a report showed Japan’s trade deficit widened more than forecast last month. Japan’s trade deficit widened to 1.45 trillion yen ($14.1 billion) in March, from 802.5 billion yen the previous month, the Ministry of Finance said today. The median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News was a 1.1 trillion yen shortfall. The deficit was a record 2.8 trillion yen in January. Four of the 36 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the Bank of Japan to add to easing on April 30, according to the results of the most recent poll, conducted March 28 to April 3.
The dollar held its biggest weekly advances in a month versus the yen and the euro ahead of leading U.S. economic indicators that may back speculation the Federal Reserve will remove stimulus this year. In the U.S., an index of leading indicators probably rose 0.7 percent in March, the most since November, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg poll before the data are released today.
New Zealand’s dollar remained lower before the Reserve Bank sets policy on April 24. All 15 economists in a Bloomberg survey expect the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to raise its official cash rate by 25 basis points to 3 percent at the April 24 meeting. The central bank increased borrowing costs by a quarter percentage point last month.
Financial markets in the U.K., Germany, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand are among those closed for a holiday today. The U.S. markets reopen after being shut on April 18.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.3805-15
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.6780-00
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair rose to Y102.70
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