USD/JPY below 103 on China Slump

The yen held gains from yesterday against most peers after a gauge of Chinese economic surprises dropped to a nine-month low, underlining concern about a slump in the Asian economy that’s sent commodity prices tumbling.

The yen rose for a fourth day versus Australia’s dollar before data on Chinese retail sales and factory output tomorrow. Demand for Japan’s haven assets was also bolstered by the standoff over Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The Aussie weakened after a report showed a decline in consumer confidence, following data indicating a drop in business sentiment yesterday. New Zealand’s currency held a monthly gain as the central bank is predicted to raise interest rates tomorrow.

“The prolonged instability in Ukraine, as well as China concerns, are spurring a flight to safety, boosting the yen,” said Yasuhiro Kaizaki, a vice president for global markets in New York at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd. “Chinese data due March 13 will draw attention from markets.”

Bloomberg

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