The yen depreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested offers around the ¥90.45 level and was supported around the ¥89.85 level. Bank of Japan is moving closer to easing monetary policy further according to a wider contingent of the financial media. The central bank's Policy Board convenes next week and some dealers believe it may expand a ¥10 trillion credit program for lenders when officials convene next week. The government is pushing the BoJ to ease further and/ or to target inflation growth of at least one per cent per year. Dealers continue to cite year-end repatriation flows as one factor that has been supporting the yen. Data released in Japan overnight saw January core machinery orders decline 3.7% m/m. Current BoJ forecasts predict prices excluding fresh food will decline through March 2012 but some economists believe the core-core price index excluding food and energy will decline until 2013. Traders await the release of revised Q4 gross domestic product data on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.003% to close at ¥10,563.92. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥94.75 level. The euro moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥123.15 level and was supported around the ¥121.85 level. The British pound moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥135.20 level while the Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen and tested offers around the ¥84.25 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar depreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8260 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 6.8263. Data released in China overnight saw February exports expand 46%, their largest increase in three years and a positive indication of improving global economic growth. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Strauss-Kahn this week reported the yuan is still very much undervalued and added China may permit the currency to appreciate in the coming months. State Administration of Foreign Exchange head Yi Gang said China's foreign exchange reserves are suitably diversified.
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