The yen depreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the 101.45 level and was supported around the 99.60 level. The pair reached its highest level since 13 March after the release of a weaker-than-expected Bank of Japan quarterly Tankan survey that saw the headline business sentiment index of large manufacturers fall to +11 from +19 in December, the lowest reading since December 2003. The survey also predicted the main index could fall to +7 in June. Companies of all sizes forecast a 5.3% decline in their capital investment plans in the fiscal year to March 2009, the largest decline since March 2003. Similarly, Japanese companies reduced their forecast for pretax profits to -1.6% from +1.1%. Additionally, companies see an average exchange rate of 109.21 in the year to March 2009. BoJs Policy Board will convene on 8-9 April and again on 30 April when the central bank will release its semi-annual outlook on the economy and prices. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.04% to close at 12,656.42. Dollar offers are cited around the 102.15 level. The euro appreciated vis--vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the 158.30 level and was supported around the 156.35 level. The British pound moved higher vis--vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the 200.90 level while the Swiss franc weakened vis--vis the yen as the franc tested bids around the 99.60 level. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.0116 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.0120. Data released in China today saw the CFLP March manufacturing PMI survey improve to 58.4 from 53.4 in February.
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