The yen appreciated modestly vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the 102.10 level and was capped around the 102.95 level. The pair reached its highest level since 12 March. Bank of Japan released a survey today that reported consumers economic sentiment worsened to the lowest level since March 2003 at -57.7. This report follows Mondays very weak Tankan survey of corporate sentiment for the January March period. The Fukuda government reported it is trying to nominate a suitable successor to become the Governor of Bank of Japan by next weeks Group of Seven meetings in Washington, D.C. Deputy Governor Shirakawa is currently governing the central bank and some Japan-watchers believe the opposition Democratic Party is in no hurry to fill the vacancy. BoJs Policy Board will meet on 8-9 April and is unlikely to change monetary policy at that meeting. Data released in Japan overnight saw foreign investors as net sellers of Japanese shares for the sixth consecutive week. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.52% to close at 13,389.90. Dollar offers are cited around the 103.65 level. The euro moved lower vis--vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the 159.30 level and was capped around the 161.05 level. The British pound gained ground vis--vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the 204.55 level while the Swiss franc weakened vis--vis the yen and tested bids around the 100.65 level. The Chinese yuan strengthened vis--vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.0158 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.0184. Treasury Secretary Paulson indicated it is dangerous if the yuan does not move in concert with fundamentals.
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