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Japanese CPI Takes Centre Stage

H.S. Borji
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Japanese CPI Takes Centre Stage

Japan’s Statistics Bureau is scheduled to release February consumer inflation data Thursday, giving investors the opportunity to gauge the central bank’s ongoing stimulus program.

Japan’s national consumer price index rose 1.4 percent annually in January, official data revealed last month. The so-called core measure, which strips away fresh food prices but includes oil products, rose 1.3 percent annually last month. January marked the eighth consecutive month core prices rose, a sign the Japanese economy may be overcoming decades of mild deflation.

A consensus of economists say Japan’s core CPI rose 1.3 percent annually in February.

The Bank of Japan introduced an unprecedented stimulus package last year designed to double the economy’s monetary base in less than two years. The dose of shock therapy has come under intense scrutiny over the past year. According to some market voices, the BOJ could be planning to unleash fresh stimulus later this year in order to meet its ambitious inflation target of 2 percent by 2015. The BOJ’s next policy meetings take place April 7-8.

The Japanese government is also scheduled to release unemployment, retail trade and household spending data Thursday.

The USDJPY pair rose to a daily high of 102.45, before tumbling in the afternoon session. As of 19:15 GMT, the pair was trading at 102.04, a loss of 0.25 percent.

The greenback was supported earlier in the day by a strong pickup in durable goods orders, which rose 2.2 percent in February.

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