The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥89.45 level and was supported around the ¥88.90 level. Prime Minister Aso vowed to create 1.6 million new jobs and rescue Japan from its economic recession. The government yesterday initiated a ¥1.5 trillion plan to purchase shares in companies threatened by the financial crisis. Shoko Chukin Bank’s December business sentiment index for small and medium-sized companies declined for a fifth consecutive month to a record low of 24.8. Most traders believe Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will continue to attempt to ease credit strains by purchasing corporate assets. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.56% to close at ¥8,106.29 today. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥118.80 level and was supported around the ¥117.05 level. The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥127.95 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥78.70 level. The Chinese yuan weakened vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8402 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8392. People’s Bank of China advisor Fan Gang said GDP growth could fall below 7% annually if the government does not stimulate domestic consumption.