Inflation figures dominate, Yen surges

European investors are focused on a heavy dose of inflation data today, including figures from Germany, France, Spain, and the eurozone as a whole, culminating in the US’s key PCE deflator release, Reuters reported on Thursday.
This overshadows the mostly quiet Asian markets and stable currencies, except for the Japanese yen’s surge due to comments from a Bank of Japan official hinting at policy changes.
Despite global interest rate bets shifting elsewhere, the Japanese yen surged on Thursday. This unexpected movement was triggered by Bank of Japan board member Hajime Takata’s speech advocating for a shift away from ultra-easy monetary policies.
His comments fuelled speculation of future interest rate hikes, propelling the yen up 0.7 per cent and surpassing the key 150 level for the first time in over a week.
Other markets remained cautious before the key data releases.

Japan’s Nikkei continued its descent after reaching an all-time high, whereas China’s CSI 300 recovered from losses and neared three-month highs in anticipation of the upcoming National People’s Congress.
This event will determine growth targets and economic stimulus plans for China.
In a move potentially affecting Thailand’s global tourism appeal, the country plans to reverse its 2022 decision to legalise recreational marijuana. This could be of interest to investors in Thailand’s tourism industry.

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