The U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen, as well as other major currencies, managed to hold steady in Asian trading today as the markets await the release of figures on the U.S. GDP, a measure of how well the economic health of the world’s largest economy is faring. As reported at 1:04 p.m. (NASDAQ:JST) in Tokyo, the U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback’s performance versus a basket of major currencies, gained slightly from the 7-week low established last week. Versus the Japanese Yen, the U.S. Dollar steadied at 94.79 Yen. Most Yen crosses were unchanged, and versus the Euro, the Yen held firm at 134.85 Yen.
Investors and analysts expect to learn that the U.S. economy contracted during the period April through June 2009, for a 4th consecutive quarter, an event that has not occurred in more than 60 years. It is expected that the figures will indicate a contraction of 1.5% (annualized rate), significantly less than the declination of the 1st quarter (5.5% annualized). Many experts predict that it will be final contraction and the American economy should begin to show improvement beginning this quarter. Markets will be keen to interpret these numbers; according to one currency strategist in Australia, the markets tend to believe that if it’s good for the American economy, then – in a broad sense – it’s a good time to take on a little risk.
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