The yen appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the Â¥97.10 level and was capped around the Â¥98.85 level. Sentiment in global equities markets soured overnight and the yen moved higher as risk aversion increased. Data released in Japan overnight saw February retail sales decline 5.8% y/y, the sharpest decline since February 2002 and the fifth consecutive monthly decline. Also, February core consumer prices were flat y/y but most economists expect annualized rates of inflation to turn negative soon. Core consumer price inflation for the Tokyo area softened to a preliminary 0.4% in March. Many traders believe Bank of Japan will soon increase its purchase of asset-backed securities to try and ease credit strains. Japan€™s fiscal year concludes on 31 March and some financial institutions may receive subordinated loans from the central bank to bolster temporary liquidity demand. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.11% to close at Â¥8,626.90. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the Â¥104.15 level. The euro moved lower vis-Ã -vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the Â¥129.35 level and was capped around the Â¥133.85 level. The British pound moved lower vis-Ã -vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the Â¥139.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-Ã -vis the yen and tested bids around the Â¥85.05 level. The Chinese yuan appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8280 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8304. People€™s Bank of China called for enhanced international financial regulation to arise from the G20 meeting in London next week.