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Japanese Yen Climbs On Coronavirus Worries

The Japanese yen appreciated against its major counterparts in the European session on Thursday, as the death toll from the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus soared in China's Hubei province, triggering a flight to safe-haven assets.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 242 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily rise since the virus was identified in December.

The total coronavirus cases in China jumped to about 59,700 with total cases worldwide reaching 60,200 as provincial officials adopted a new methodology for counting infections. It is still unclear whether the jump is due to a revision of prior data or a fresh upsurge.

Data from the Bank of Japan showed Japan producer prices rose 0.2 percent on month in January.

That exceeded expectations for a flat reading following the 0.1 percent increase in December.

The yen advanced to a 3-day high of 109.72 against the greenback, from a low of 110.09 seen at 5:00 pm ET. The next possible resistance for the yen is seen around the 108.00 level.

The yen hit a 3-month high of 119.34 against the euro, from Wednesday's closing value of 119.70. If the yen rises further, 118.00 is seen as its next resistance level.

Final figures from Destatis showed that German consumer price inflation hit a six-month high at the start of the year, driven by a jump in energy prices.

The consumer price index rose 1.7 percent year-on-year following a 1.5 percent increase in December. The flash estimates of all inflation figures for January were confirmed.

The yen gained to a 2-day high of 112.29 against the Swiss franc, compared to 112.54 hit late New York Wednesday. On the upside, 111.00 is likely seen as the next resistance for the yen.

The yen edged up to 82.74 against the loonie, after falling to 83.08 at 5:30 pm ET. The yen may test resistance around the 80.00 level.

The yen held steady against the kiwi and the aussie, after rising to 70.66 and a 2-day high of 73.65, respectively in the Asian session. On Wednesday, the yen had closed deals at 71.15 against the kiwi and 74.17 versus the aussie.

Meanwhile, the yen pulled back to 142.52 against the pound, from a high of 142.15 set at 1:15 am ET. The yen is poised to challenge support around the 144.00 mark.

Looking ahead, the European Commission will release its winter economic forecasts shortly.

In the New York session, U.S. CPI for January and weekly jobless claims for the week ended February 8 will be out.

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