Yen slips after Japan posts record trade deficit

Yen slips after Japan posts record trade deficit

TOKYO - The yen slipped Thursday after Japan announced a record trade deficit for 2012, ending a rally fuelled by disappointment over the Bank of Japan's recent monetary policy announcement.

The dollar bought 88.84 yen (S$1.23) in Tokyo trade, from 88.56 yen in New York late Wednesday, while the euro was at 118.36 yen, from 118.00 yen.

The euro was up to $1.3320 (S$2.18) from $1.3315 ahead of the release of eurozone economic data later in the day.

Japan said it logged a record 6.92 trillion yen deficit in 2012, as exports to China and the European Union tumbled, but the gloomy data fell within economists' expectations.

"Although trade deficits have been one of the factors pushing the yen down, most of them had been priced in by the market," said Minori Uchida, chief forex analyst at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Japan's trade deficit was unlikely to keep widening in 2013 as exports to China should pick up, with a spike in energy imports abating, Uchida said.

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