Daily Morning Report 12.05.2016

The yen flipped between small gains and losses on Thursday with current account data showing a slightly narrower than expected surplus.

In Japan, the adjusted current account for April came in at a surplus of ¥1.89 trillion, narrower than a surplus of ¥1.90 trillion seen. Of note, foreign investments in Japanese stocks fell ¥434.6 billion in April, while bond purchases by foreigners reached ¥270.3 billion.

Also in Australia, MI inflation expectations edged down to 3.2% from 3.6%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.01% to 93.79.

Overnight, the dollar remained broadly lower against the other major currencies on Wednesday, as investors continued to lock in profits from the greenback’s recent gains, especially against the yen after Japan warned that it is prepared to intervene in the foreign exchange market.

The dollar strengthened against the yen in the previous two sessions after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Monday that financial authorities are prepared to intervene in the currency market if excessive moves in the yen are enough to affect the country’s economy.

But many investors expect that Japan will refrain from taking step to weaken the yen ahead of a G7 meeting its is hosting later this month, in the absence of support for such a move.

Late last month the U.S. Treasury Department added Japan to a watch list of countries it is monitoring to gauge whether their foreign exchange policies provide an unfair trade advantage.

Aso said Monday the Treasury’s move to put Japan on a watch list “won’t constrain” Tokyo’s currency policy.