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Yen Quiet Ahead of Japanese Retail Sales

The Japanese yen has edged higher in the Tuesday session. In the North American session, USD/JPY is trading at 110.40. On the release front, today’s highlight in the US is CB Consumer Confidence, which is expected to dip to 113.9 points. Japan will release Retail Sales, with the indicator expected to dip to 0.7%.

Donald Trump is used to getting his way in the private sector and on reality TV, but he had to swallow a bitter pill last week as he suffered his first major setback as president. His bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled before it even went to a vote on the House floor, despite the Republicans enjoying a majority in Congress. This bruising defeat has sent the US dollar sharply lower, and sent market jitters higher. Trump’s administration has stumbled out of the starting gate, and after more than two months in office, he has yet to provide any details over even an outline of economic policy. The inquiry into the Trump administration’s links with Russia is gathering steam, and is another cause for concern for nervous investors. Trump has said he will now focus on tax reform, but he has his work cut out, trying to convince a skeptical Congress and general public that he can push his agenda through Congress.

On Monday, the Bank of Japan released a summary of the minutes of its policy meeting on March 16. There were no surprises, as policymakers said the BoJ’s ultra-easy monetary stance would continue as long as inflation remains well below the target of 2 percent. Japan’s economy has improved in recent months, boosted by a stronger manufacturing sector and an increase in exports, but domestic demand remains soft, resulting in weak inflation levels. We’ll get a look at consumer indicators this week, with the release of retail sales on Tuesday, followed by household spending and Tokyo Core CPI on Thursday.

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