Investing.com - The Japanese yen strengthened in early Asian trade Thursday ahead of April retail sales data.
USD/JPY traded at 101.75, down 0.09%, with retail sales due at 0850 Tokyo (2350 GMT). The forecast for retail sales is for a 3.3% drop year-on-year.
Later, Bank of Japan board member Sayuri Shirai is due to speak to business leaders in Naha City, southwestern Japan from 1030 to 1200 Tokyo (0130 to 0300 GMT) and hold a news conference from 1400 to 1430 (0500 to 0530 GMT).
At 1130 in Sydney (0130 GMT) Australia''s first quarter total new capex data are due. The expectation is for a 3.5% decline month-on-month.
AUD/USD traded at 0.9228, down 0.02%.
Overnight, the dollar firmed against most major currencies buoyed by Tuesday''s batch of positive economic indicators and expectations for the European Central Bank to loosen policy.
The euro has fallen nearly 2% against the dollar since the ECB indicated at its May 8 meeting that monetary authorities would feel "comfortable" with easing monetary policy at its June 5 meeting to help shore up the region''s fragile recovery.
On Tuesday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was aware of the risks of persistently low inflation and was prepared to take steps to get euro zone inflation back to its target, the latest indication that the bank could loosen monetary policy next week.
The dollar, meanwhile, saw residual support stemming from Tuesday''s upbeat U.S. consumer confidence, housing and pricing data, which served as a reminder that the economy continues to recover and is in less need of monetary stimulus measures.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.02% at 80.62.
On Thursday, the U.S. is to release revised data on first-quarter GDP as well as the weekly government report on initial jobless claims and data on pending home sales.
Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger: