The yen extended recent gains vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the Â¥99.55 level and was capped around the Â¥101.15 level. The pair reached levels not seen since 1995 as heightened risk aversion dampened demand for U.S. assets and led to further unwinding of the short yen carry trade. Finance minister Nukaga and Economy minister Ota verbally intervened today to counter the yenâ€™s appreciation. The Fukuda government may put forth a candidate other than Muto to succeed Bank of Japan Governor Fukui when he retires on 19 March. Mutoâ€™s nomination has essentially been blocked by the Upper House of parliament and a compromise candidate is expected to be named. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.54% to close at Â¥12,241.60. Dollar offers are cited around the Â¥101.85 level. The euro weakened vis-Ã -vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the Â¥156.05 level and was capped around the Â¥157.60 level. The British pound and Swiss franc came off vis-Ã -vis the yen as the crosses tested bids around the Â¥202.85 and Â¥99.20 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.0894 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.0900, the pairâ€™s lowest close since the yuan revaluation of July 2005. Data released in China today saw January-February urban fixed-asset investment up 24.3% y/y.
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