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The yen fell to almost a three-week low versus the dollar amid demand for higher-yielding assets.
The Japanese currency weakened for a fifth straight day against the dollar as a private report showed U.S. companies added 201,000 jobs in March, fueling speculation the Federal Reserve may curtail its debt buying.
The private report precedes the Labor Department’s nonfarm payroll numbers to be released April 1. U.S. payrolls added 190,000 in March, according to the median estimate of economists.
Japan’s currency has weakened 2.3% against the dollar in the first quarter and 7% against the euro. Those declines accelerated in March with the yen losing 2.6% against the dollar and 1.6% to the euro in the past nine days.
Europe’s common currency has strengthened 5.2% versus the dollar this year as euro-region policy makers stiffened their anti-inflation views. The ECB will increase its main refinancing rate by a quarter-percentage point to 1.25% at its April 7 meeting, according to the median forecast of economists.
US data starts at 1230GMT with the weekly jobless claims as well as the ISM-NY Business Index for March. Initial jobless claims are expected to fall 2,000 to 380,000 in the March 26 week after falling in four of the last five weeks. US data continues at 1345GMT with the the March Chicago Purchasers Index and also the weekly Bloomberg Comfort Index. The Chicago PMI is expected to fall to a reading of 70.0 in March. Other regional data already released have suggested stronger expansion. At 1400GMT, factory new orders are expected to rise 0.5% in February after being lifted by aircraft orders and energy prices in January. Durable goods orders were already reported down 0.9% in the month, but non-durable goods orders are expected to get a lift from rising energy prices.
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