The Japanese yen has ticked lower in the Thursday session. In North American trade, USD/JPY is trading at 111.40. On the release front, US Final GDP posted a gain of 2.1%, edging above the estimate of 2.0%. Unemployment claims jumped to 258 thousand, above the forecast of 244 thousand. Later in the day, Japan releases Household Spending and Tokyo Core CPI. The markets are braced for declines from both indicators. On Friday, the US releases UoM Consumer Sentiment, which is expected to improve to 97.8 points.
The markets are likely to be treated to "more of the same" from the Bank of Japan as far as monetary policy. Earlier in the week, the BoJ released a summary of the minutes of its policy meeting from 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. At the same time, domestic demand remains soft, which has resulted in weak inflation levels. Japan will release key consumer spending and inflation numbers on Thursday, and soft readings could hurt the Japanese yen.