Investing.com - The yen firmed against the dollar in Asian trade on Monday despite data that showed weaker than expected fourth quarter gross domestic product growth and a wider than expected current account deficit for January.
USD/JPY traded at 103.07, down 0.18%, after Q4 GDP data from Japan showed a gain of 0.2%, below expectations of +0.3% q/q. January''s current account balance came in at -¥1.589 trillion, wider than the -¥1.411 trillion expected.
In other data, outstanding bank loans in Japan rose 2.4% from a year earlier to ¥412.02 trillion in February, marking the 29th straight year-on-year rise on solid domestic demand. The pace of increase decelerated slightly from +2.5% in January and +2.6% in December 2013, which was the highest since +3.3% in May 2009.
Also in focus, the Bank of Japan is expected to keep monetary policy unchanged when it announces its deliberations on Tuesday as the economy appears on track toward modest recovery and a 2% sustained inflation aim.
In Chinese data released at the weekend, the consumer price index came in at 2.0% in February, a 13-month low, and the producer price index fell 2.0%. Chinese exprots dropped 18.1% in the biggest percentage drop since August 2009 of 23.4%.
Attention remains on China National People''s Congress, which continues until March 13.
Last week, the dollar rose to six-week highs against the yen on and pulled back from two-and-a-half year lows against the euro after data showed that the U.S. jobs report for February came in ahead of expectations.
In the week ahead, rate announcements by the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will be in focus. The U.S. is to publish what will be closely watched data on retail sales and consumer sentiment.
On Monday, in the euro zone, France is to produce data on industrial production. Switzerland is to publish data on retail sales, the government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity.
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