Japan recorded 3.7% annualized growth, slightly less than the 3.9% markets were expecting, but still a convincing return to growth for the Japanese economy. The gain snapped five consecutive quarters of decline and follows on from an -11% contraction in the previous quarter.

The Japanese economy was plunged sharply into recession in 2008 as global demand for its consumer goods fell away in the midst of global recession. A rise in exports drove the expansion, with export levels rising 6.3%. Despite the positive news, Asian stocks fell amid concerns that the economic situation remains "severe" and currency rates for the yen reached a two-week high against the US dollar and euro.

Japanese yen currency rates are currently at 94 per USD and 154 per GBP.

The rates quoted above are interbank rates. Client rates may vary according to the volume and timing of the trade.