Yen Slides Against Majors

The Japanese yen weakened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Friday, despite the release of positive data from Japan.

Data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that industrial output in Japan jumped 2.0 percent on month in February. That topped expectations for an increase of 1.2 percent following the 0.4 percent decline in January.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that consumer prices in Japan were up 0.3 percent on year in February. That topped expectations for 0.2 percent but was down from 0.4 percent in January.

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in February. That was below forecasts for 3.0 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous month.

Data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism showed that Japan’s housing starts dropped by more-than-expected 2.6 percent year-on-year in February, reversing a 12.8 percent rise in January. Economists had forecast a 1.2 percent fall for February. Housing starts declined for the first time since June 2016.

The number of annualised housing starts declined to 940,000 from 1.0 million in January. The expected level was 952,000.

Construction orders received by 50 big contractors grew at a faster pace of 5.7 percent on year in February, after rising 1.1 percent in January.

Meanwhile, the crude oil futures jumped back above $50 a barrel Thursday, as Kuwait signaled support for the six-month extension of OPEC’s supply quota plan.

In the Asian trading, the yen fell to 10-day lows of 140.09 against the pound and 112.19 against the U.S. dollar, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 139.57 and 111.92, respectively. The yen is likely to find support around 142.00 against the pound and 114.00 against the greenback.

Against the euro, the yen dropped to 119.82 from yesterday’s closing value of 119.47. The yen may test support near the 121.00 area.

The yen slipped to a 2-day low of 112.08 against…

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