The Japanese yen is slipping -- here's what's happening in FX

Good morning!

The Japanese yen is weaker by 1.1% at 108.31 per dollar.

On Monday, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso once again lobbed an attack on the stronger yen.

“Sudden yen strength or weakness has various impacts on trade, economic and fiscal policies and Japan’s stance is that this isn’t desirable. … It’s natural that Japan has means to intervene,” he said in parliament, according to Bloomberg.

He added that the US Treasury Department’s “watch list” doesn’t affect how the government pursues its FX policy.

Notably, previous comments made by Aso and Bank of Japan head Kuroda in recent weeks haven’t had much of an impact on the currency market.

And, for what it’s worth,
the minutes from the March BOJ meeting show policymakers had conflicting views on the central bank’s negative interest rate policy

As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 7:50 a.m. ET:

  • The euro is weaker by 0.2% at 1.1385 despite German factory orders climbing 1.9% in March, above economists’ expectations of a 0.6% increase. In other eurozone news, Greek lawmakers approved “unpopular pension and tax reforms” in the hopes of securing more bailout cash.
  • The Australian dollar continues its slide after the RBA downgraded its inflation outlook last Friday. It’s weaker by 0.4% at .7340. Notably, FX forecasters now think the Australian dollar could trickle down below 70 cents, BI Australia’s Greg McKenna reports.
  • The British pound is little changed at 1.4435 after the Halifax House Price Index showed that home prices fell by 0.8% in April, missing expectations of a 0.4% drop.
  • The South African rand is weaker by 1.2% at 15.0490 after the latest data showed that the country’s unemployment rate ticked up to 26.70% in the first quarter, up from Q4 2015’s reading of 24.50%. Economists were expecting a rise to 25.30%.
  • The dollar index is little changed at 94.02 ahead of a quiet day. The first key data point of the week will be out on Tuesday when JOLTS job openings crosses the wires.

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