The yen depreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the 102.85 level and was supported around the 101.45 level. Dealers sold yen on reduced risk aversion as Japanese accounts invested yen proceeds in overseas markets following the recent beginning of Japans new fiscal year. As expected, the Fukuda government nominated Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Shirakawa to become the new Governor of the central bank. Opposition lawmakers are expected to accept the nomination as early as tomorrow and Shirakawa may represent Japan this weekend at the Group of Seven meeting in Washington, D.C. The nomination of former MoF bureaucrat Watanabe as a Deputy Governor may not be accepted. Data released in Japan overnight saw the February leading index of economic indicators rise to 50.0 from a revised 36.4 in January while the coincident index improved to 44.4 from 20.0 in January. It was also reported that Japans foreign reserves reached a record US$ 1.02 trillion in March. The Nikkei 225 stock index gained 1.18% to close at 13,450.23. Dollar offers are cited around the 103.65 level. The euro moved higher vis--vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the 161.45 level and was supported around the 159.55 level. The British pound and Swiss franc gained ground vis--vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the 204.40 and 101.50 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis--vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.0015 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.0158.
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