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Yen Gains on Woes of Europe, Flat vs. Dollar

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The Japanese yen gained against most Major currency today as endless woes of European Countries
The not-so-impressive performance of the yen against the dollar may be explained by poor macroeconomic reports from Japan. The unemployment rate unexpectedly increased by 0.1 percentage point to 4.6 percent in April. Retail sales rose 5.8 percent in April, following the 10.3 percent advance in March. The median estimate was 6.2 percent.
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Japan is not too happy about the strength of the yen as it hurts nation’s economy. The minutes of the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy meeting showed that the central bank is going to maintain its accommodative policy. But it does not look like the bank is ready for any aggressive actions and it is questionable if the central bank’s efforts would have any effect on the appreciating currency.
EUR/JPY dropped from 99.66 to 99.35 as of 21:16 GMT today, reaching intraday 98.93 — the lowest rate since January 19. GBP/JPY was down from 124.59 to 124.32. At the same time, USD/JPY traded at about 79.49, following the rise from 79.45 to 79.64.
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Europe Drives Loonie to Monthly Loss

The Canadian dollar fell today, heading to a monthly loss against the US dollar and a second straight monthly drop versus the Japanese yen, as the crisis in Europe eroded demand for currencies related to growth. Unsurprisingly, Canada’s currency managed to outperform the euro.

The European sovereign-debt problems is spreading and it does not look like European leaders have a solid plan to contain the crisis. Signs that the fast-growing Chinese economy is slowing also does not help commodities and currencies related to them. July futures on crude oil, the major export of Canada, were down 0.3 percent to $90.56 on NYMEX today, erasing its previous advance.

Canadian currency often gets help from the recovering economy of the nation’s neighbor — the United States. Today, though, US macroeconomic reports only hurt the loonie. The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller House Price Index fell in March on an annual basis. On the positive side, the decline was slower than in the previous month and the index rose on a monthly basis. A really unpleasant surprise was an unexpected drop of the Conference Board consumer confidence. Analysts predicted that the sentiment index would rise from 68.7 in April to 69.8 in May, but the gauge dropped to 64.9 instead.

USD/CAD was up from 1.0236 to 1.0257 as of 17:36 GMT today, following the earlier drop to 1.0206. CAD/JPY declined from 77.58 to 77.39, erasing its previous advance to 77.85. EUR/CAD slipped from 1.2837 to 1.2802, while the daily minimum of 1.2792 was the lowest since May 15.

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