Yen gains in Asia ahead of Japan GDP, China trade expected
The yen gained slightly in early Asia ahead of key data from Japan with the market also poised for likely China trade figures later in the day.
A busy data day in Japan with the unadjusted current account for July seen at a surplus of ¥2.059 trillion and GDP figures expected to show a 0.7% on quarter for the second quarter and a 2.9% increase on year.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted down 0.78% to 91.49.
Later, Australia releases home loans data for July with a 1.0% gain seen. Investors are also on the lookout for Chinese trade balance data with a surplus of $48.6 billion expected for August. Imports are seen up 10%, while exports are slated to gain 6.0%.
Overnight, the dollar dropped to 32-month lows against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the release of downbeat U.S. jobless claims data and as remarks by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi sent the euro broadly higher.
The greenback weakened after the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims rose more than expected to 298,000 last week.
The data came a day after a brief sigh of relief on the U.S. political front.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump concluded a surprise deal with Democrats in Congress to extend the debt ceiling, providing government funding until December 15 and potentially avoiding an unprecedented default on U.S. government debt.
The euro found broad support after the ECB President Mario Draghi said that recent euro volatility was a source of uncertainty and that the ECB will decide on the “calibration” of policy measures in the autumn.
He added that the central bank's outlook for growth and inflation in the euro area remained “broadly unchanged."
The comments came after the ECB left interest rates unchanged, in a widely expected move.
Markets were also still jittery after South Korea deployed an anti-missile system in response to North Korea's sixth and largest ever nuclear test last weekend