Investing.com - The Japanese yen traded nearly flat and the Australian dollar weakened slightly in Asia on Monday with a Bank of Japan two-day board meeting underway and light trade with markets in China closed for a holiday.
The BoJ decision is due on Tuesday and is widely expected to maintain the monetary policy target as there are no signs that downside risks to growth and inflation are increasing for now.
Also in Japan, the February indices of leading, coincident and lagging indicators due at 1400 Tokyo time (0500 GMT). The forecast is for an increase to 114.2 points from 113.1 points last month.
USD/JPY traded at 103.29, up 0.01%, in Asia.
The Australian dollar eased despite some mildly positive private survey data. The March AI Group Construction Index gained 2.0 points to 46.2, while March ANZ job ads gained 1.4% from a revised increase of 4.7% in February.
After the surveys, AUD/USD fell slightly to trade at 0.9286, down 0.06%.
Last week, the dollar pared back gains against the euro and fell against the yen, despite the latest U.S. employment report indicating that the economic recovery is on track.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, below expectations for jobs growth of 200,000. February’s figure was revised up to 197,000 from a previously reported 175,000. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, compared to expectations for a tick down to 6.6%.
The data disappointed some market expectations for a more robust reading but indicated that the Federal Reserve is likely to stick to the current pace of reductions to its asset purchase program.
ECB President Mario Draghi said the governing council was "unanimous" in its commitment to using all unconventional instruments within its mandate to cope with the risk of low inflation becoming entrenched. He added that the bank discussed the possibility of negative deposit rates. The comments came after the bank left rates on hold at a record low 0.25%.
The US Dollar Index traded at 80.59, up 0.03%.
In the week ahead, markets will be focusing on Wednesday’s minutes of the Fed’s most recent policy setting meeting. Monetary policy meetings by the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England will also be closely watched.
On Monday, the Swiss National Bank is to publish data on its foreign currency reserves. This data is closely scrutinized for indications of the size of the bank’s operations in currency markets. Switzerland is also to release data on consumer price inflation.
The Bank of Canada is to publish its quarterly business outlook survey.
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