A recovery in the JPY was the focus for the Asian session with JPY gaining ground against the USD and on the crosses. Two catalysts were noted for the move, including the better-than-expected Japanese unemployment results at 4.1% and the lack of further Japanese corporate month-end USD buying which had been rumored, but failed to appear. USD-JPY fell from early Asian highs of 98.61 to lows of 97.32. EUR-JPY dropped from early highs around 125.50 to lows of 123.73. The cross play dragged EUR-USD down from levels around 1.2747 to lows of 1.2689 before EUR bounced, only reconfirming the recent range that has held around 1.2700-1.2800 over the last couple of days. AUD and NZD were dragged down on the session on JPY cross selling but also remained in recent ranges. GBP-USD mostly consolidated around 1.4253-1.4309 in choppy trading. Asian stock markets were mixed with Australia flat, the Nikkei, S. Korea and Taiwan higher, while stocks in Shanghai slumped. Oil prices eased, dropping under $45 for the Nymex Apr contracts. Gold fell, extending the week long decline after failing to sustain the highs above $1,000 traded a week ago. The WSJ reported on a deal between Citi and the government over converting the government holdings to stocks but this appeared to have little currency impact, and DJIA futures remained slightly negative on the news. USD selling intervention was seen on both the INR and the KRW with the KRW reaching a an 11-year low today.
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