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The yen declined against the euro and other major peers after data showed its gross domestic product shrank by more than forecast as exports slumped, fanning speculation officials may act to weaken the yen.
The report underscores pressure on Bank of Japan officials meeting today and tomorrow to consider more monetary easing as gains in the yen worsen losses for companies from Sony Corp. to Panasonic Corp.
Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi reiterated at a parliamentary budget committee session in Tokyo that he’ll act on excessive and speculative moves in the currency. Japan spent 14.3 trillion yen ($184 billion) in intervention operations last year to stem gains in the currency as it rose to postwar records against the dollar, hurting the nation’s exporters.
The 17-nation euro rose versus 10 of its 16 major counterparts as Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won parliamentary approval for austerity measures to secure an international bailout after rioters protesting the measures battled police and set fire to buildings in downtown Athens. A total of 199 lawmakers voted in favor and 74 against, Parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos said in remarks carried live on state-run Vouli TV.
Australia’s dollar gained before a report forecast to show U.S. retail sales rose. The so-called Aussie climbed against the yen after data showed that Australian home-loan approvals rose in December.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair rose.
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair gain.
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair holds in range Y77.50-Y77.80.
Although a busy week on the data front, Monday is off to a slow start. At 0930GMT, the Bank Of England releases the Q4 "Project Merlin" bank lending data. At 1100GMT, the OECD December leading indicator will hit the screens.
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