THE TAKEAWAY: USD Leading Indicators (DEC) > +0.5% versus +0.4% expected, from 0.0% (revised from -0.2%) > US Economy Showing Further Improvement > USDJPY NEUTRAL
A gauge of future US economic activity rose in December after being unchanged in the previous month, pointing to an improvement in domestic growth. The Conference Board said on Thursday its Leading Economic Index increased +0.5% to 93.9 last month. Economists polled by Reuters expected the index to rise +0.3%.
In December, five of the ten leading indicators increased. Claims for jobless benefits dropped last week to a five-year low which helped drive the gain. New building permits also increased in the week ended January 19. The biggest disappointment was a drop in consumer expectations.
USDJPY 5-Minute Chart: January 24, 2013
Chart from FXCM Trading Station, created by Courtney Edwards
The USDJPY initially dipped after the release, but soon traded back to its prerelease level at 89.90. The USDJPY has traded nearly +200-pips higher on the day, after strong Chinese manufacturing data and further dovish commentary from Japanese policymakers.
--- Written by Courtney Edwards, DailyFX Research