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The yen weakened versus all of its major peers as an advance in Asian shares damped demand for haven currencies and data showed that Japan’s current-account surplus slid to a 15-year low in 2011. Japan’s current-account surplus shrank 44 percent in 2011 from the previous year to 9.63 trillion yen ($125 billion), the lowest since 1996, the Finance Ministry said in Tokyo today. The figure narrowed 74.7 percent in December from a year earlier to 303.5 billion yen. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a 71 percent decline.
The euro touched an eight-week high on speculation Greece is making progress on measures to secure international aid. Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is scheduled to meet the heads of three political parties in Athens today.
Greece’s Papademos met yesterday for “constructive” talks with Charles Dallara, managing director of the International Institute of Finance, which has negotiated the terms of a debt- swap deal with private bond holders, and Deutsche Bank AG Chairman, according to an IIF statement. The prime minister also held an unscheduled meeting late yesterday with the so-called troika, comprising the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to put the final touches on terms required for a 130 billion-euro ($173 billion) bailout.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in a range $1.3240-$1.3265.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair holds in a range $1.5880-$1.5900.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair gain, showed new week’s high.
The US calendar starts at 1200GMT, with the release of the MBA weekly mortgage applications data. There is little else on the agenda
until 1530GMT, when the EIA Wkly Crude Oil Stocks numbers are released. At 1540GMT, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks to the Bishop Ranch Forum on "The Federal Reserve and the Economic Recovery," in San Ramon, Calif. Germany comes to market Weds, with the sale of E4 billion 5-year BOBLs. US issuance is slated for later in the day, with the $32 billion 10-Year Note auction.
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