The yen depreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the Â¥106.90 level and was supported around the Â¥105.60 level. The pair established a new multi-year low before climbing higher. As expected, Bank of Japan voted unanimously to keep the overnight call rate unchanged at 0.5% for the thirteenth consecutive meeting. The central bank is expected to keep rates steady for the foreseeable future. The BoJ kept its economic assessment for January unchanged but noted the pace of economic growth is slowing on account of the decline in housing starts. BoJ Governor Fukui today said I know that market players think the outlook on (global) monetary policy is in a rate-cut direction, and there's talk that Japan also may cut rates. Given the uncertain economic and financial background, we may be in a delicate stage of judging the outlook. Data released in Japan today saw December machine tool orders upwardly revised 3.7% y/y while December supermarket sales were off 1.8% y/y. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 5.65% to close at Â¥12,573.05. Dollar bids are cited around the Â¥104.20 level. The euro moved higher vis-Ã -vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the Â¥156.40 level and was supported around the Â¥152.10 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis-Ã -vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the Â¥209.85 and Â¥97.35 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.2392 in the over-the-counter market, up fro, CNY 7.2365. A Chinese government agency sees 2008 GDP growth around 11% and CPI around 4%.
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