The greenback came under sharp selling pressure in the New York session, tumbling past the 1.38-level against the euro and relinquishing the 95-figure versus the yen. US equities were up marginally on the session with the Dow Jones up by 0.45% and the Nasdaq edging up by 0.85% in afternoon trading. Crude oil climbed back above the $60 per barrel level
With no economic data released from the US today, traders awaited the minutes from the FOMC's April meeting. The Fed said further increase in securities purchases may help spur the recovery, but decided to hold the decision on more securities purchases to more closely assess how the economy and financial conditions evolve. The Board also deems the risk for protracted period of deflation to have diminished. The Fed says the economy is still facing significant downside risks, while the data is signaling the economy stabilizing is still tentative. Further, most expect the economy to take 5-6 years to return to long run potential.
Japan's GDP posts Record Decline
USDJPY broke beneath the 95-level to 94.86 amid broadbased dollar weakness. Dismal data released from Japan in the early Asian session revealed a sharp contraction in the economy, with Q1 GDP posting a 4% decline compared with 3.2% decline in the previous quarter and plunging by 15.2% versus a 12.1% contraction a year earlier. The steep annualized contraction in economic activity marked its worst on record and revealed a record 26% plunge in Q1 exports. The capital expenditures component posted a 10.4% quarterly decline, while consumer spending fell by 1.1%.
The Bank of Japan kicks off its two-day monetary policy meeting in the coming session, with the decision expected to be announced on early Friday Asian trading. BoJ Governor Shirakawa said yesterday that, economic uncertainties remain high, with the Bank to concentrate its efforts on propping up the economy. Although the BoJ is not expected to change interest rates this week, there has been speculation that the Bank is mulling over permitting financial institutions to use US Treasury and foreign debt instruments as collateral for the BoJ's open-market operations.
Dollar/yen continues to trade beneath the 95-level, with support seen at 94.50, followed by 94.20 and 94. Subsequent floors are eyed at 93.60, backed by 93.30 and 93. On the upside, interim resistance is seen at 95.40, followed by 95.70 and 96. Additional gains will target subsequent ceilings at 96.20, backed by 96.50 and 97.