The Japanese yen reversed its Monday's early Asian session's downtrend against other major currencies despite a report showed that Japan's industrial production shrank for a fifth straight month and marking the third-largest fall on record.

Industrial output in Japan plummeted by 9.4 percent in February compared to the previous month, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said today, falling for the fifth straight month and marking the third-largest fall on record.

That was slightly worse than forecasts that called for a decline of 9.0 percent following the 10.2 percent decline in January.

On an annual basis, industrial output dropped 38.4 percent versus forecasts of a 38.1 percent decline after the 31.0 percent retreat in the previous month.

The fall in output was concentrated on automobiles, chip making equipment and electric machinery as exports took a beating because of the global economic slowdown. Data last week showed that exports had plummeted by a record 49.4 percent in February.

The Japanese stock market was trading lower today, following the negative cues from Wall Street Friday. Additionally, real estate stocks are trading lower after Azel Corp. said it has decided to file for bankruptcy.

In early morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index was losing 61.65 points or 0.71% to 8,565.32 and the broader Topix Index of all First Section Issues was down 5.38 points or 0.65% to 819.15.

Against the US dollar, the Japanese yen traded higher during early Asian deals on Monday. At 10:40 pm ET, the yen reached a high of 97.68 against the dollar, moving from an early Asian session low of 98.33. The next upside target level for the Japanese currency is seen around 95.7. The dollar-yen pair closed Friday's North American session at 97.88.

Against the European currency, the Japanese yen edged higher during Monday's early Asian deals. At 10:55 pm ET, the yen climbed to 129.58 versus the euro, compared to 130.12 hit late New York Friday. On the upside, 125.6 is seen as the next target level for the Japanese currency.

The Japanese yen that declined to 140.51 against the British pound at 8:35 pm ET Sunday strengthened thereafter. Currently, the yen is trading at 139.44 against the pound, with 136.5 seen as the next target level. The pound-yen pair closed Friday's New York deals at 140.19.

The average price for a home in England and Wales plummeted by a record 10.3 percent on year in March, property industry group Hometrack said today, following a 10.0 percent fall in February.

The average selling price was 156,100 pounds in March, marking the largest decline since the group started tracking home prices in 2000.

The Japanese currency gained ground after hitting a low of 85.95 against the Swiss franc during today's early Asian deals. At 10:55 pm ET, the yen advanced to 85.27 versus the franc, compared to Friday's closing value of 85.54. If the Japanese yen gains further, 84.9 is seen as the next target level.

The Euro-zone business climate indicator, UK mortgage approvals and M4 money supply are scheduled for release in the upcoming session.

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