The U.S. dollar edged down against the yen on Friday, but remained near five-year highs after a string of economic reports from Japan, as Thursday''s upbeat U.S. jobless claims data continued to support.
USD/JPY hit 104.68 during late Asian trade, the session low; the pair subsequently consolidated at 104.71, easing 0.08%.
The pair was lilkely to find support at 104.21, the low of December 25 and resistance at 105.03.
Official data earlier showed that household spending in Japan fell 0.2% in November, compared to a year earlier, after a 0.9% rise in October. Analysts had expected household spending to increase by 1.7% last month.
A separate report showed that Tokyo''s core consumer price inflation, which excludes fresh food, rose at an annualized rate of 0.7% in December, in line with expectations, after a 0.6% rise the previous month.
Preliminary government data also showed that industrial production in Japan ticked up 0.1% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 1% rise in October.
In addition, data showed that Japan''s retail sales rose 4% in November, compared to a year earlier, above expectations for a 2.9% gain. October''s retail sales rose 2.3%.
Meanwhile, the greenback remained supported after the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits declined by 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 338,000 last week. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to fall by 35,000 to 345,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 380,000, which was the highest since March.
The upbeat data added to the view that the U.S. economy will be strong enough to allow the Federal Reserve to continue withdrawing stimulus through 2014.
The yen was lower against the euro, with EUR/JPY rising 0.39% to 144.08.
Trading volumes were expected to remain light, with no U.S. data to be released throughout the day.
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