The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥89.45 level and was capped around the ¥90.40 level. Prime Minister Hatoyama met with President Obama in Tokyo today and it is not known if they discussed exchange rates. Finance ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group verbally intervened overnight to support the U.S. dollar, one day after U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner said the U.S.'s borrowing needs will be much less than expected and two days after he reiterated the U.S.'s strong dollar policy. Financial Services minister Kamei reported Bank of Japan's understanding of the Japanese economy is weak and implored the central bank to look carefully at the real economy. Finance minister Fujii said it is too early to determine if a second extra budget is needed and added the Japanese economy is still very unstable. Hong Kong Chief Executive Tsang reported he is scared the U.S. is making decisions that imitate those Japan made in the run-up to its bubble period in the late 1980s. Tsang said the U.S. dollar carry trade has resulted and added gyrations in financial markets and bubbles in asset markets remain ahead of us. Data released in Japan overnight saw the September consumer confidence index remain unchanged at 40.5. Obama will also travel to Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul. Data released in the Japan overnight saw revised September industrial production improve to +2.1% m/m. BoJ's Policy Board recently predicted core consumer prices will decline 1.5% in the year ending March 2010, decline 0.8% in the fiscal year ending March 2011, and decline 0.4% in the fiscal year ending March 2012. The central bank recently reported it will stop its purchase of corporate debt and commercial paper at the end of 2009. BoJ Policy Board's next interest rate decision is scheduled for 19 November. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.35% to close at ¥9,770.31. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥94.75 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥132.85 level and was capped around the ¥134.45 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥148.95 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥88.00 figure. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar climbed vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8240 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8208. People's Bank of China Deputy Governor Zhu Min reported the Chinese economy is experiencing a V-shaped recovery and said the central bank needs to switch its focus in 2010 to the quality of economic growth, rather than the pace. Pressure is increasing on China to further liberalize its yuan, especially with Obama's pending visit. Data released in China this week saw October industrial output up 16.1% while retail sales were up 16.2% and consumer price inflation was off 0.5%. Additionally, it was reported that the October trade balance printed at US$ 24 billion. State Information Centre official Zhu this week reported Chinese policymakers are unlikely to allow the yuan to appreciate this year and foreign pressures won't make result in a policy shift by Chinese officials.
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