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The yen hit a fresh 18-month high against the dollar, hurting the profit outlook for exporters and other shares that benefit from a weaker yen. The U.S. Treasury put Japan on a new currency monitoring list along with four other countries that have large trade surpluses with the United States. The report could make it harder for Japan to intervene in currency markets to stem the yen's gains. Japan's major automakers, which rely heavily on export sales for profits, underperformed the sagging Nikkei index. Toyota Motor Corp shares fell 3.8 percent while Nissan Motor Co Ltd tumbled 5 percent and Honda Motor Co Ltd declined 4 percent.
A private-sector gauge of Australian consumer prices showed inflation slowed further in April despite a pick up in petrol and heath care costs, underlining the case for a cut in interest rates perhaps as early as this week. Monday's survey from the Melbourne Institute showed consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in April, after a flat outcome in March.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair rose to $1.1480
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair traded in the range of $1.4590-20
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair traded in the range of Y106.15-75
Based on Reuters materials
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