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The yen reached a one-week high versus the dollar amid concern Western nations will boost pressure on Russia after U.S. President Barack Obama warned against indifference over the annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and Europe are at “a moment of testing,” as Russia challenges the ideals of democracy, free markets and international law that have spread peace and prosperity, Obama said in a speech yesterday in Brussels.
Japan’s currency held a two-day advance against the euro and is set for the first quarterly gain in six periods before the Asian nation publishes data on consumer prices tomorrow. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News predict a report tomorrow will show Japan’s consumer price index excluding fresh food rose 1.3 percent in February from 12 months earlier, matching the biggest increase in five years and more than halfway to the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent inflation target.
The greenback remained higher versus Europe’s shared currency before a report today that may show faster growth than previously estimated in the world’s biggest economy. Analysts in a separate poll say gross domestic product in the U.S. probably grew at a 2.7 percent annualized rate from October through December, compared with the government’s estimate of 2.4 percent issued last month. The Commerce Department will release the data today.
New Zealand’s dollar climbed for a fifth day after its trade surplus was larger-than-expected last month. Statistics New Zealand said today the nation had a trade surplus of NZ$818 million ($706 million) last month, more than the NZ$600 million forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the most since April 2011. New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English said the strength of his country’s dollar poses a challenge for exporters.
EUR / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.3775-95
GBP / USD: during the Asian session, the pair traded in the range of $1.6565-85
USD / JPY: during the Asian session, the pair is trading around the level of Y102.00
Focus turns to release of UK Retail Sales data at 0930GMT, as cable eyes a move back above $1.6600.
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