Forex: Japan’s Trade Balance positive, though below expectations

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Trade figures released today from the Japanese Ministry of Finance, revealed an increase by 9% to the country’s exports for February beating the expected rate of 8.6%. However the imports to Japan for the previous month came out at 9.9%, far above the forecasted rate of 4.4%. The total Trade Balance for the month was published at 654.1 billion Yen, not meeting the expected amount of 894.5 billion Yen. However the Trade Balance can be considered positive for the Japanese economy as the Balance for January 2011 was at -471.4 billion Yen, indicating a deficit. Upon the announcement of the trade data the USDJPY pair was little changed, declining by some 4 pips to hit a low of 80.82. Within an hour the Dollar gained some 15 pips to climb to 80.97 against the Japanese Yen. Currently the pair is trading at 80.92.

Trade sector is Japan’s most significant part of the domestic economic activity and the country relies much on its performance, thus the Trade Balance is of great importance. A positive value which is denoted as trade surplus gives optimistic signals about the country’s GDP and may drag the USDJPY pair lower.