The yen appreciated vis-Ã -vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the Â¥95.75 level and was capped around the Â¥97.15 level. The yen extended recent gains across the board with U.S. equities under pressure and risk appetite lower globally, favouring the yen. As expected, Bank of Japan€™s Policy Board voted unanimously to keep the overnight call rate target unchanged at 0.10% and kept its economic assessment unchanged. BoJ Governor Shirakawa pessimistically noted €œEven if we have a recovery, I don€™t think its strength will be impressive. I can€™t be confident about the strength of final demand after inventory adjustments and policy measures run their course.€ The central bank reiterated it remains concerned about €œdownside risks to economic activity and prices€ and merely noted the economy has €œstopped worsening.€ Data to be released next week may show Japan€™s economy expanded around 4.0% in the three months that ended 30 June. Deflationary pressures have returned to the economy. Consumer prices excluding fresh food fall a record 1.7% in June and this may pressure policymakers into keeping rates low through 2011. Data released in Japan overnight saw the government€™s consumer sentiment index improve to 39.4 from 37.6 in June, its highest level since November 2007 and the seventh consecutive monthly improvement. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.58% to close at Â¥10,585.46. 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¥135.25 level and was capped around the Â¥137.40 level. The British pound moved lower vis-Ã -vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the Â¥157.80 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-Ã -vis the yen and tested bids around the Â¥88.40 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar gained ground vis-Ã -vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8355 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8313. Data released in China overnight saw July exports decline a staggering 23% y/y while July factory output was up a weaker-than-expected 10.8%. Also, July CPI was off 1.8% y/y and July PPI was off 8.2% y/y with July retail sales up 15.2% y/y.