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Yen Weaker Despite Strong Q3 GDP from Japan, US Nonfarm Payrolls Awaited

12/8/2017, 10:32:56 AMMarket Analysis
Yen Weaker Despite Strong Q3 GDP from Japan, US Nonfarm Payrolls Awaited

The yen held weaker despite stronger than expected growth figures from Japan as the dollar continued in demand as US tax cuts appear closer to passage and the market waits for nonfarm payroll data.

Japan reported third quarter GDP jumped 0.6%, compared with a 0.4% gain expected on quarter and at a 2.5% pace, compared with a 1.5% rise seen on year. As well, average cash earnings rose 0.6%, missing the 0.8% gain seen on year.

USD/JPY rose 0.12% to 113.23, while AUD/USD fell 0.03% to 0.7508. GBP/USd traded at 1.3460, down 0.10% on prospects for another meeting of EU leadership and British PM Theresa May on Friday over Brexit details.

Later in China, trade data is expected to show a USD 35 billion surplus with imports up 11.3% and exports up 5.0% for November on year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.06% to 93.81.

Overnight, the dollar rose against a basket of major currencies on Thursday as upbeat labor market data, spurred expectations for a solid nonfarm payrolls report due Friday.

The {{ecl-294|s| number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance}} for the week ended Dec 2. fell by 4,000 to 236,000, beating expectations for a drop of just 2,000.

The update on initial jobless claims comes a day ahead of nonfarm payrolls data expected to show the US economy created 200,000 jobs in November.

Market participants remained optimistic that November nonfarm payrolls data will continue to rebound following a slump in September in the wake of hurricane-related disasters.

The yen, meanwhile, reversed gains against the greenback as investor focus shifted from Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda's somewhat hawkish comments toward signs of progress on US tax reform.

Kuroda said Thursday that changes in the country’s economy and financial system could force the bank to raise its yield targets, fuelling expectations that the central bank may start to consider reining its ultra-loose monetary policy measures.

GBP/USD rose as investors continued to bet that the Irish border issue, which has stalled Brexit talks so far, would be resolved soon, paving the way for UK-EU negotiations on several important factors including a trade deal.