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10.01.2013 07:04

Asian session: The yen weakened

00:30 Australia Building Permits, m/m November -7.6% +3.1% +2.9%

00:30 Australia Building Permits, y/y November +14.5% +11.6% +13.2%

02:00 China Trade Balance, bln December 19.6 20.1 31.6

05:00 Japan Leading Economic Index November 92.8 93.1 91.9

05:00 Japan Coincident Index November 90.7 90.1

The yen weakened for a second day and neared a 2 1/2 year-low against the dollar after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa to double the central bank’s inflation goal. Shirakawa said yesterday the BOJ was in close cooperation with the government, raising speculation policy makers will boost stimulus when they meet Jan. 21-22. Japan’s currency slid against all of its major peers before data forecast to show the nation’s trade deficit widened. A report tomorrow on Japanese trade will also be a “key focus”. Japanese imports probably exceeded exports by 832 billion yen ($9.45 billion) in November, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The gap for October was 450.3 billion yen.

Demand for Europe’s shared currency was limited amid signs of a slowdown in the region’s biggest economies. ECB President Mario Draghi and his board will probably keep its main refinancing rate at a record-low 0.75 percent, although 5 of the 55 analysts polled predicted the central bank will lower the benchmark to 0.5 percent.

French manufacturing production probably fell 0.2 percent in November from the previous month, when it dropped 0.9 percent, the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey showed ahead of the data today. German figures yesterday showed industrial production in Europe’s biggest economy trailed economists’ estimates.

Australia’s dollar rose to the highest in more than three weeks versus its U.S. counterpart after China’s trade data boosted export prospects for the South Pacific nation. Shipments from China grew 14.1 percent in December from a year earlier, while imports increased 6 percent, the customs administration said today in Beijing. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected increases of 5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.

EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to the previous day's low of $1.3035.

GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $1.6000.

USD/JPY: during the Asian session, the pair climbed to Y88.20.

The main features on Thursday's calendar are around lunchtime in London, when both the ECB and the Bank of England release their latest monetary policy decisions. However, there is a full calendar without the central banks. At 0700GMT, the UK government will unveil changes to the calculations of UK inflation measures. There is a string of French data from 0730GMT, starting at 0730GMT with the release of the French BOF Business survey. At 0745GMT, French November industrial output numbers and the December HICP data will cross the wires. At 0900GMT, German November machine orders numbers will be released.

Market Focus

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  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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