NEW YORK (BBH FX Strategy) -- The U.S. dollar is broadly firmer amid rising concerns about global growth. Japan fiscal year-end repatriation flows may be playing a part in yen gains, but there appears to be upward yen pressure coming from the EUR and AUD crosses too. Immediate support is seen near the recent low near 82 followed by the March low near 80.60.Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. A widening of periphery spreads and negative news developments are weighing on the euro ahead of the North American open. Portuguese yields are higher, with the 10-year up 7 basis points after Fitch said Portuguese banks are on shaky ground.
However, it appears that most in DPJ will follow Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ahead of potential general elections and the bill is likely to pass the lower house. LDP and Komei, which lead the upper house, oppose the bill but Noda said he would dissolve the Diet if the bill is the voted down in the upper house. Japan's February retail sales came in stronger than expected, up 2% month over month. This will give more confidence to those that want to hike the tax. However, the move to raise the sales tax is risky, as seen by Japan's experience in the 1990s when a consumption tax hike nipped an economic recovery in the bud.