The yen appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the Â¥94.50 level and was capped around the Â¥95.80 level. Data released in Japan today saw the June jobless rate reach its highest level in six years at 5.4%. These data will not bode well for the Aso government or the Liberal Democratic Party ahead of next month€™s mandatory general election and this could provide the opposition Democratic Party of Japan with enough ammunition to advance further in the polls. Other data released today saw June nationwide core consumer price inflation off 1.7% y/y, matching expectations, while the July purchasing managers€™ output index printed at 54.7. Additionally, June overall housing starts were off 32.4% y/y while June total construction orders were off 28.0% y/y. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 1.89% to close at Â¥10,356.83. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the Â¥104.15 level. The euro moved higher vis-Ã -vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the Â¥135.55 level and was supported around the Â¥134.25 level. The British pound moved higher vis-Ã -vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the Â¥158.55 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-Ã -vis the yen and tested offers around the Â¥88.80 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar lost ground vis-Ã -vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8291 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8293. Chinese officials made it clear this week that they will continue to keep monetary policy loose and this supported international equity markets. Traders had noted chatter yesterday suggesting China may begin to restrict bank lending further.