The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥92.85 level and was capped around the ¥93.50 level. Bank of Japan upgraded its economic assessment in seven of the country's nine areas. The central bank reported the local economies had picked up, although there remained differences in the pace and extent of the recovery. The upgrade increases the likelihood the central bank will increase their estimates for economic growth and inflation when its semi-annual outlook is released on 30 April. Data released in Japan overnight saw February industrial production decline 0.9% m/m and climb 31.3% y/y while February capacity utilization was up 0.0% m/m. Traders await the release of the government's April economic report overnight. The Nikkei 225 stock index climbed 0.61% to close at ¥11,273.79. 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 ¥126.30 level and was capped around the ¥127.65 level. The British pound moved lower vis-à-vis the yen as sterling tested offers around the ¥143.25 level while the Swiss franc moved lower vis-à-vis the yen and tested bids around the ¥87.70 level. In Chinese news, the U.S. dollar appreciated vis-à-vis the Chinese yuan as the greenback closed at CNY 6.8260 in the over-the-counter market, up from CNY 6.8258. Many data were released in China overnight. First, Q1 real GDP came in on the high end of expectations, printing at an annualized growth rate of 11.9% y/y. Also, the March producer price index was up 5.9% y/y and March consumer prices were up 2.4% y/y. Additionally, March retail sales were up 18.0% y/y and March industrial production was up 18.1% y/y. These data make it extremely likely the Chinese government will revalue its yuan currency or widen its trading band by an estimated 2-3%. Some traders believe this move could take place as early as next week while most China-watchers believe it will happen before the end of the second quarter.
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