The yen eased in Asia on Monday with investors surprised by a big spike in machinery orders data in Japan.
In Japan, core machinery orders for January spiked 15%, well above the 3.0% gain seen month-on-month and a year-on-year gain of 8.4%, far outpacing a decline of 3.6% expected.
Official data released over the weekend showed that China’s factory output in the first two months of the year slowed to the weakest level since November 2008, adding to the view that the economy remains in the midst of an ongoing slowdown which will require Beijing to roll out more support in coming months.
Industrial production rose by an annualized rate of 5.4% in January, below expectations for a 5.6% increase and slowing from a gain of 5.9% in the preceding month, the General Administration of Customs said on Saturday.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted at 96.27, up 0.04%.
In the week ahead, investors will be turning their attention to Wednesday’s outcome of the Federal Reserve.