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Japan's long-suppressed yen surged and global bond and stock markets flinched on Thursday, as Tokyo's monetary policymakers gave their clearest hints yet that the exit from ultra-low interest rates was approaching. Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda had added to speculation about a shift away from negative rates by saying policy management would "become even more challenging from the year-end and heading into next year" and flagged several options of what could come next. Money markets started pricing in a near 40% chance that the BoJ changes course at its final meeting of the year on December 19.
Around 1.86 million were collecting unemployment benefits, according to new data from the Labour Department.