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The Australian dollar hit a two-and-a-half month low after mixed Australian jobs data sparked some speculative selling though the numbers were unlikely to build the case for an imminent rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The dollar stood tall and set a three-week high against the yen on Thursday, after the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting rekindled expectations for a June interest rate hike. While the dollar could see further gains against the yen in the near term, the pace is likely to become more gradual given the potential for dollar-selling by Japanese exporters, said a trader for a Japanese bank in Tokyo. A number of major Japanese exporters have set their dollar/yen exchange rate assumptions for the 2016/17 business year, which began in April, at levels around 110 yen to 105 yen.
The dollar's rebound against the yen no doubt came as a relief to Japanese officials, who were concerned that the yen's recent strength would stifle Japan's nascent economic recovery. Currency stability is likely to be a topic at the G7 finance leaders' meeting in Sendai, northern Japan on Friday and Saturday. The meeting could expose a rift on issues ranging from currency to fiscal policies within the group of advanced economies.
Data earlier this week showed U.S. consumer prices increased the most in three years in April while industrial output and housing starts both rebounded, suggesting the economy was regaining steam at the start of the second quarter after almost stalling early in the year.
EUR/USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $1.1210
GBP/USD: during the Asian session the pair fell to $1.4565
USD/JPY: during the Asian session the pair traded in the range of Y109.90-20
Based on Reuters materials
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