Dollar up against yen as Japan’s trade deficit swells

TOKYO- The dollar rose against the yen in quiet Asian trade Monday after data showed Japan’s trade deficit quadrupled year on year in March.

The greenback fetched 102.63 yen in Tokyo mid-day trading, up from 102.46 yen Friday, while the euro was up at 141.74 yen from 141.46 yen. The single currency also fetched $1.3810, against $1.3812.

Most leading financial markets around the world were closed Friday and Monday for Easter.

The yen faced moderate selling pressure after Japan said early Monday that its trade deficit surged to $14 billion in March, with a weak yen compounding surging imports as consumers rushed to buy ahead of a sales tax rise on April 1.

But the dollar is unlikely to breach 103 yen any time soon as investor sentiment has yet to completely turn the risk-on mode, says Osamu Takashima, chief FX strategist at Citi Bank Japan, in a morning note.

“We don’t feel any sign that aggressive yen selling is set to start amid falling volatility,” Takashima said.

Eyes are on the release this week of key economic data, including manufacturing activity around the world as well as retail, jobs and housing figures in the United States.