The yen weakened further on reduced safe-haven demand and the pound rose solidly on Monday as investors squarely focused on this week's Brexit vote and upbeat poll data for the "Remain" campaign.
In Japan, the adjusted trade balance came in at ¥270 billion, wider than a surplus of ¥130 billion expected for May, while exports dropped 11.3%, more than the 10.4% year-on-year fall seen and imports came in as expected, down 13.8% year-on-year.
The overall trade balance came in at a drop of ¥41 billion, the first deficit in four months.
USD/JPY traded at 104.66, up 0.46%, while AUD/USD changed hands at 0.7429, up 0.46%. GBP/USD was at 1.4543, up 1.28%, while EUR/USD gained 0.64% at 1.149.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.56% at 93.77.
At the weekend, China reported that average property prices growth slowed on a monthly basis for the first time in seven months, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The NBS said 60 of the 70 cities it monitors saw prices in May rising from a month earlier compared with 65 cities in April.
And 36 of the 70 saw price growth on a monthly basis narrowing, compared with 21 in April.
Last week, the pound rose around 1% against the dollar and the yen on Friday as fears over the upcoming U.K. referendum on European Union membership subsided as campaigning was suspended following the killing of Jo Cox, a Labour Party member and supporter of EU membership.
Two opinion polls published on Saturday showed that support for the 'Remain' campaign had regained its lead over a vote to leave, while a third showed momentum shifting in favor of a vote to remain in the 28 member bloc for the June 23 vote.The pound had tumbled earlier in the week amid fears that a vote to leave the EU would cause turmoil in global financial markets.
The pair rose to the day’s highs earlier Friday after Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso warned that Tokyo Is ready to take action against “one-sided, sharp and speculation-driven” gains in the yen.The remarks came one day after the Bank of Japan left monetary policy on hold, sending the yen surging to two-year highs against the dollar.
Investors will also be looking at testimony on monetary policy by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen after the U.S. central bank left interest rates on hold this week and lowered forecast for how much they expect to hike interest rates in the next few years.