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The yen climbed versus all 16 major peers after Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari said further losses in the currency would threaten to negatively affect people and the government's job is to minimize that.
Wagers the dollar will gain against the euro and yen rose last week amid bets the Federal Reserve will signal a tapering of bond purchases. Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said May 16 that quickening economic growth and gains in the job market may prompt the central bank to begin tapering its bond buying as soon as this summer. Williams was one of the first Fed officials to advocate open-ended bond purchases. Philadelphia Fed Bank President Charles Plosser said a week earlier he'd favor a June reduction.
New Zealand's dollar strengthened as its finance minister said home price gains will pressure the Reserve Bank to raise interest rates. "These households heading into quite high debt to buy highly priced houses need to be aware at some stage the RBNZ will increase interest rates, particularly if the housing market keeps growing at rapid rates," English said yesterday in an interview broadcast on Television New Zealand's Q+A.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.2815-50
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $ 1.5165-00
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair fell to Y102.60
Monday sees a very quiet calendar, with many European centres set to enjoy the Whitsun holidays, although markets remain open. The main focus for the week will be testimony on the Hill from Fed Chairman Bernanke and minutes from the Fed, RBA and BOE. The only event on the European calendar is the release of the Italian March industrial orders numbers. The US calendar is also light, with little on the calendar. At 1330GMT, the MNI Capital Goods Index for the May 17 week will be released, followed by the MNI Retail Trade Index data for the May 18 period. At 1700GMT, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans is scheduled to give a speech on the outlook to the CFA Society in Chicago. Late UK data sees the release of the April Markit Household Finance Index numbers at 2300GMT
European bourses are initially seen trading higher Monday, although volumes could be lighter than normal, with Whitsun holidays likely to keep many players sidelined: the FTSE up 18, the DAX up 50 and the CAC up 20.
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