The yen appreciated vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar today as the greenback tested bids around the ¥113.90 level and was capped around the ¥114.65 level. Technically, today’s intraday low was right around the 76.4% retracement of the move from ¥115.90 to ¥107.20. Data released in Japan overnight saw November housing starts off 27% y/y while November construction orders were down 3.8% y/y. These data render it even more unlikely Bank of Japan’s Policy Board will lift the overnight call rate from 0.50% anytime soon. The Nikkei 225 stock index lost 0.57% to close at ¥15,564.69. Dollar bids are cited around the ¥112.50/ ¥111.75 levels. The euro gained ground vis-à-vis the yen as the single currency tested offers around the ¥166.45 level and was supported around the ¥165.35 level. The British pound and Swiss franc moved higher vis-à-vis the yen as the crosses tested offers around the ¥228.35 and ¥100.00 levels, respectively. The Chinese yuan appreciated sharply vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar as the greenback closed at CNY 7.3175 in the over-the-counter market, down from CNY 7.3444. A government report predicts consumer price inflation will be around 4.5% in 2008, down from the estimated 4.7% in 2007.