The yen appreciated marginally vis--vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the 100.30 level and was capped around the 101.50 level. Minutes from Bank of Japans Policy Board meeting from 6-7 March were released overnight in which policymakers stressed the need to monitor downside Japanese economic risks caused by the U.S. economic slowdown and global financial turbulence. There was no explicit statement from policymakers that they may consider a rate cut but comments from the central bank have become noticeably more pessimistic in recent weeks. Vice finance minister Tsusa said he would refrain from elaborating on exchange rates, indicating the G7 adequately covered the topic in its communiqu. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 3.05% to close at 12,917.51. 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 159.95 level and was supported around the 158.25 level. The British pound and Swiss franc appreciated vis--vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the 200.80 and 101.30 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis--vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.9990 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.0065. Data released in China today saw the March consumer price index rise 8.3%, down from Februarys 8.7% level. Q1 economic data will be released by China on Wednesday.
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