The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥89.80 level and was supported around the ¥88.80 level. Data released in Japan overnight saw the service sector decline for a thirteenth consecutive month in January with the PMI survey falling to 34.1 from 37.0 in December. These data confirm that the recession is widespread among most or all Japanese industries. Bank of Japan is expected to maintain its asset-purchase programs for the foreseeable future to keep a lid on market interest rates. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 2.73% to close at ¥8,038.94. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥104.15 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥114.20 level and was capped around the ¥117.00 figure. The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥130.70 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥76.55 level. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8335 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8399. Data released in China today saw the January purchasing manager’s index improve to 45.3 from 41.2 in December. Twenty million rural Chinese workers have recently lost their jobs and many economists believe China must maintain at least 8% annual economic growth to avoid further problems. Other data released today saw the December corporate goods price index decline 3.1% y/y.
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