The Japanese yen climbed against its key counterparts in late Asian deals on Friday as investors purchased safe-haven assets after worse-than-expected Chinese trade data for July.
China's exports grew just 1 percent year-on-year in July, decelerating from 11.3 percent growth reported in June.
Imports also slowed in July. Overseas purchases increase at a pace of 4.7 percent year-on-year compared to 6.3 percent rise in June. Economists expected import growth to pick up to a rate of 7 percent.
The trade surplus fell to $25.15 billion from June's $31.72 billion. This was expected to rise to $35.05 billion.
The final figures from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed that Japan's industrial output increased modestly in June, in contrast to preliminary estimates for a slight decrease.
Industrial production increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent month-on-month in June, defying preliminary estimates for a 0.1 percent decline.
Annually, overall industrial output decreased 1.5 percent in June, slightly sower than 1.6 percent fall estimated earlier, the agency said.
The yen climbed to 1-week highs of 80.12 against the Swiss franc and 96.18 against the euro with 79.00 and 95.00 seen as the next resistance levels, respectively. At Thursday's close, the yen was worth 80.54 against the franc and 96.70 against the euro.
Germany's EU harmonized inflation came in below the preliminary estimates in July, final data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed today.
The harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP), measured under the EU methodology, increased 1.9 percent annually in July, slightly slower than the 2 percent gain estimated earlier. In June, the inflation rate was 2 percent.
Against its Australian and NZ counterparts, the yen approached 82.40 and 63.44, its highest levels since August 3. On the upside, the yen may target 82.00 against the aussie and 63.00 against the kiwi. The yen ended yesterday's deals at 83.15 against the aussie and 63.82 against the kiwi.
The Reserve Bank of Australia on Friday lifted its forecast for economic growth this year, but expects growth in domestic demand to moderate in the near-term.
The gross domestic product is now projected to grow 3.5 percent in the year through December 2012, slightly faster than the 3 percent predicted in the May, according to the central bank's latest Monetary Policy Statement.
The yen strengthened to 78.41 against the U.S. dollar and 78.91 against the Canadian dollar, compared to yesterday's close of 78.58 and 79.30, respectively. If the yen rises further, it may target 78.00 against the greenback and 78.00 against the loonie.
The yen is now trading at a 2-day high of 122.36 against the pound with 122.00 seen as next upside target level. The pound-yen pair closed yesterday's American session at 122.90.
Looking ahead, U.K. PPI for July is due shortly.
Canada jobs data, U.S. import price index and monthly budget statement - all for July are expected in the New York session.
by RTT Staff Writer
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