The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥93.65 level and was capped around the ¥94.35 level. Finance Minister Kan reported Bank of Japan Governor Shirakawa is doing a very good job. Financial services minister Kamei reported the government will need to enact additional fiscal measures to stop the strong deflationary pressures that are evident. Japan's ability to implement additional budgetary stimuli is rather limited given the massive amount of outstanding Japanese government bonds. Data released in Japan today saw the February coincident index improve to 100.7 from 100.3 while the February leading economic index improved to 97.9 from 96.7. The central bank may increase its assessment of the Japanese economy on account of an improvement in the export sector and the recent improvement in the Tankan survey of corporate sentiment. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.50% to close at ¥11,282.32. U.S. dollar offers are cited around the ¥96.85 level. The euro moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested bids around the ¥125.35 level and was capped around the ¥127.35 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested bids around the ¥142.05 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥87.50 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar was unchanged vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8257 in the over-the-counter market. The big news involving China continues to be that the Obama administration is delaying the release of a report due 15 April that could have potentially labeled China a currency manipulator. The move to delay the release of the report could signal negotiations are ongoing between the two countries or could signal China may let the yuan appreciate further in the coming days. Chinese leadership will visit Washington, D.C. on 12-13 April. It was reported today that China's net foreign debt totaled US$ 428.6 billion at the end of 2009, up 14% y/y.
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