The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥101.80 level and was capped around the ¥102.50 level. The pair consolidated some of the losses it incurred on Friday following the pair’s move to multi-year lows. Finance minister Nukaga verbally intervened against the yen saying he’s monitoring foreign exchange rates’ recent movements carefully. Most traders do not anticipate Bank of Japan or other central banks will conduct yen-selling intervention but there is a heightened risk at these levels. Morever, most major central banks including the BoJ, Fed, ECB, etc. have made it clear that they are communicating closely about the markets. Data released in Japan overnight saw the February money supply up +2.3%, an increase from January’s +2.1% expansion. Also, February bank lending was up +0.9% y/y to ¥391.92 trillion, the 25th consecutive month of gains. The Fukuda government faces a tough uphill battle getting Toshiro Muto, its nominated successor for outgoing BoJ Governor Fukui, approved by the Parliament. Fukui retires from the central bank on 19 March. Other data released in Japan overnight saw the February economy watchers’ survey improve to 33.6 from 31.8, the first improvement in eleven months. The biggest news overnight was a report that private sector machinery orders surged 19.6% m/m in January, the largest gain since August 2000. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.96% to close at ¥12,532.13. U.S. dollar bids are cited around the ¥101.20 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥101.80 level and was capped around the ¥157.60 level. The British pound and Swiss franc weakened vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the ¥205.30 and ¥99.70 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.1029 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.1110, the pair’s lowest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005. Data released in China overnight saw the February trade surplus print at US$ 8.56 billion while the February producer price index was up 6.6% y/y. It was also estimated that China’s consumer price inflation measure reached 8.3% last month. The Chinese government reported China’s employment situation will worsen severely with up to twenty million new jobseekers entering the labour market annually.