The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥88.80 level and was capped around the ¥89.45 level. Financial services minister Kamei called on Bank of Japan to do more to help improve the economy, saying the central bank should consider underwriting debt to help the government create funds for fiscal stimulus. It's necessary to provide funds for bold fiscal spending. Without fiscal stimulus funds, minister Kan can't resolve the economy's output gap. He's not a magician. BoJ Governor Shirakawa and other Policy Board members have vehemently rejected additional calls for the central bank to monetize additional debt. Finance minister Kan today said he wants Japan to be out of deflation by the end of 2010 even though BoJ said it expects there will be price declines for three additional years. BoJ Governor Shirakawa, in turn, today reiterated the government needs to exercise more fiscal discipline. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.45% to close at ¥10,172.06. 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 ¥120.05 level and was capped around the ¥121.90 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥132.00 figure while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥82.05 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8263 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8260. Data released in China today saw February manufacturing PMI decline go 52.0 from 55.8, considerably weaker-than-expected. Revised U.S. TICS data released on Friday confirmed China is the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries. Foreign holdings of U.S. debt now totals US$ 2.7 trillion in aggregate.