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Yen Little Changed Against U.S. Dollar as Japan Fiscal Year Kicks Off

3 Apr 2017 5:45 am
   By Suryatapa Bhattacharya and Hiroyuki Kachi 

TOKYO--The Japanese yen was little changed against the U.S. dollar as investors remained cautious about the greenback amid U.S. trade and uncertainty about currency policy.

The dollar was recently at $111.38 in late Asia trading, compared with Y111.40 late Friday in New York.

The WSJ Dollar Index was 0.7% lower at 90.71.

As Japan kicked off a new fiscal year, Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citigroup Global Markets Japan, said investors should remain cautious about downside risks for the dollar at around Y108 this quarter amid rising global-trade anxiety. In the short term, investors are likely to remain cautious on interest-rate bets.

Investors will be watching a meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. Mr. Trump has issued executive orders over alleged unfair trade practices, and many see China as being the main target ahead of the meeting. Citi's Mr. Takashima said the latest foreign-exchange orders were placed with an eye on bilateral trade issues there.

Elsewhere, the euro was up 0.2% at $1.0678 ahead of key eurozone economic data, among other indicators due later in the global day.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan's survey of big manufacturers did little to boost the yen, after it showed business conditions didn't improve as much as most had expected for the first quarter. It did suggest growth would remain strong for now. "The continued increase in capacity usage is welcome news for the Bank of Japan," Capital Economics said in a note. Even though the survey's headline index for business conditions of large manufacturers was weaker than expected, it rose further last quarter. Japan's big manufacturers assume the dollar will average Y108.43 for the just-started fiscal year, according to the survey. That compared with the Y107.30 that the greenback averaged in the just-ended fiscal year.

Interbank Foreign Exchange Rates At 00:50 EST / 0450 GMT 
                         Latest     Previous   %Chg   Daily   Daily    %Chg 
                                    2150 GMT          High    Low      12/31 
Dollar Rates 
USD/JPY Japan           111.37-38      111.39-40  -0.02   111.40   111.12  -4.82 
EUR/USD Euro            1.0678-81      1.0654-57  +0.23   1.0683   1.0656  +1.52 
GBP/USD U.K.            1.2539-41      1.2547-49  -0.06   1.2548   1.2532  +1.58 
USD/CHF Switzerland     1.0007-11      1.0026-30  -0.19   1.0028   1.0008  -1.77 
USD/CAD Canada          1.3321-26      1.3316-21  +0.04   1.3330   1.3311  -0.88 
AUD/USD Australia       0.7603-07      0.7627-31  -0.31   0.7641   0.7603  +5.60 
NZD/USD New Zealand     0.7002-08      0.7005-11  -0.04   0.7016   0.7001  +1.16 
Euro Rates 
EUR/JPY Japan           118.91-95      118.65-69  +0.22   118.96   118.65  -3.39 
Source: Tullett Prebon 

Write to Suryatapa Bhattacharya at suryatapa.bhattacharya@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 03, 2017 01:45 ET (05:45 GMT)

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