BOJ Keeps Stimulus Unchanged

Asian shares rallied and the safe-haven yen eased after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to stop nuclear and missile testing and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a meeting that could come before May. South Korea’s national security adviser made the announcement at the White House, after delivering a letter from Kim. Trump’s aides have been wary of North Korea’s diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments.

The Bank of Japan stayed the course with its monetary stimulus at Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s final policy meeting before his new term begins next month. The BOJ kept its yield-curve control settings and asset purchases unchanged. This will put the BOJ further behind its global peers, who are either raising interest rates or turning toward normalizing policy.

The dollar rose versus the safe haven yen by 0.4%, inching away from a low on March, the greenback’s weakest level since November 2016.

The European Central Bank yesterday, unexpectedly dropped a pledge to ramp up bond buying if the economy deteriorates.

Euro nursed its losses after falling on Thursday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, while acknowledging faster growth in Europe, said regional inflation remained subdued and rising protectionism is a risk.

The dollar’s momentum was also fuelled by news that Trump pressed ahead with tariffs but offered conditional exemptions for Canada and Mexico, a signal that a full-blown global trade war may be avoided.

Oil prices recouped some ground after slipping overnight. U.S. crude bounced 13 cents to $60.25 per barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 21 cents to $63.82 per barrel.

Gold prices extended losses on Friday as the dollar strengthened on news that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pledged to suspend nuclear and missile.

The last trading session of the week today is full of very important economic data, such as the BoJ Interest Rate Decision, Manufacturing Production UK the Unemployment Rate in Canada and the Non-Farm Payrolls and Unemployment Rate in the US. Moderate to high volatility is expected for the US Dollar, and the Japanese Yen, and especially for the USD/CAD.