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    Greenback near 22-month lows against the yen

    The U.S. dollar held steady near 22-month lows against the Japanese yen on Friday, following the release of  soft US data, and in the wake of Fed’s and BoJ’s decisions to leave monetary policies unchanged.
    Sentiment on the dollar remained fragile, after the US Department of Labor reported on Thursday that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ending 11th June rose by 13,000 to 277,000.  
    A separate report from the US Commerce Department indicated that consumer prices increased by 0.2% in May, below than expectations for a 0.3% rise. On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices were 1% higher in May, again lower than expectations for a 1.1% gain.
    USD/JPY was slightly changed at 104.29, still near Thursday’s 22-month low of 103.55. The Japanese yen surged against the greenback after the Bank of Japan announced its decision on Thursday to continue expanding the monetary base at an annual rate of approximately ¥80 billion.

    At the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting, the Japanese central bank stressed that the upcoming EU referendum constitutes a critical geopolitical threat to the country’s economy, along with the European debt problem.

    The announcement came after the Federal Reserve also flagged the referendum as a factor in its decision on Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged.
    The greenback had weakened against the other major currencies when the U.S. central bank kept rates unchanged and degraded its projections of the pace of future rate hikes in the next few years.
    The U.S. dollar index which tracks the greenback’s performance against a group of six other currencies fell 0.14% at 94.64.

    Market watchers are now shifting their focus towards the release of US building permits and housing starts later in the day, for fresh clues on the state of the economy.

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