The Japanese yen showed mild strength against other major currencies during Wednesday's early Asian trading as a government report showed that Japan posted trade surplus in February for the first time in five months.
Japan saw a merchandise trade balance of 82.4 billion yen in February, the Ministry of Finance said today, marking the first surplus in five months. The February figure came in better than expectations for a 13.7 billion yen deficit following the revised record 956.9 billion yen shortfall in January. The original figure came in at -952.6 billion yen.
Exports plummeted by a record 49.9 percent on year to 3.525 trillion yen, the data showed, falling for the fifth consecutive month. That was worse than forecasts that had predicted an annual decline of 47.6 percent after the 45.7 percent fall in January.
Imports fell 43.0 percent on year to 3.443 trillion yen, declining for the fourth straight month. Analysts had expected a fall of 38.4 percent on year after the revised 31.9 percent decline in the previous month.
The yen rose to 86.22 against the Swiss franc and a 2-day high of 131.11 against the European currency by about 8:15 pm ET Tuesday, moving up from its early lows of 87.01 and 132.61, respectively. The Japanese unit closed Tuesday's New York session at 86.49 against the Swiss currency and 131.82 against the euro.
Italian consumer confidence index, German IFO business expectations and UK CBI distributive trades reports are slated for release in the upcoming session.
Against the US dollar, the Japanese unit rebounded to 97.53 from 98.36 by about 9:15 pm ET. At yesterday's North American session close, the dollar-yen pair was quoted at 97.87.
In the New York session, US durable good orders and new home sales reports-both for the month of February are expected. Also, the US Federal Reserve's Pianalto and Yellen are expected to deliver speeches in the afternoon.
The yen started ticking up against the British pound by about 8:00 pm ET Tuesday. The yen thus moved from 144.66 to 142.89 by about 9:15 pm ET. The pair that was worth 143.71 at yesterday's North American session close is now trading at 143.47.
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