The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥92.75 level and was supported around the ¥91.55 level. Finance minister Nakagawa resigned his position following his embarrassing episode of slurred speech at the Group of Seven meeting in Rome this weekend. Economy minister Yosano will assume Nakagawa’s portfolio and this ordeal is the latest problem for beleaguered Prime Minister Aso who currently suffers from a favourable rating below 10% and could be forced out of office by the Liberal Democratic Party ahead of this year’s election. Data released in Japan overnight saw January total machinery orders off 48.4% m/m and 84.1% y/y. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 1.35% to close at ¥7,645.51. 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 ¥115.65 level and was capped around the ¥117.45 level. The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥131.70 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥78.15 level. The Chinese yuan depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8355 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8249. Government official Zhang Xiaogiang reported the U.S. dollar may strengthen to between CNY 6.95 and CNY 7.00.
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