The Australian dollar advanced against its major counterparts in the Asian session on Thursday, while the Japanese yen dropped, as Asian stocks rose following the overnight gains on Wall Street after upbeat U.S. economic data and as China announced a cut in tariffs on some goods imported from the U.S.

China announced that it will cut tariffs on some U.S. goods from next week.

China's Ministry of Finance said that 10 percent tariffs on some U.S. imports would be halved to 5 percent, while 5 percent tariff imposed on other items would be cut to 2.5 percent.

Sentiment further lifted up on expectations of central bank stimulus to counter the economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak.

Chinese state TV said the government will eliminate fees, reduce value-added taxes and support banks to offer loan rates under 1.6 percent to key enterprises involved in the fight against the coronavirus.

On the economic front, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total value of retail sales in Australia was down a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent on month in December, coming in at A$27.765 billion. That missed expectations for a decline of 0.2 percent following the 0.9 percent gain in November.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also said Australia had a merchandise trade surplus of A$5.223 billion in December. That was shy of forecasts for a surplus of A$5.60 billion and down from the downwardly revised A$5.518 billion surplus in November.

Exports were up A$557 million or 1.0 percent on month to A$41.293 billion, while imports gained A$853 million or 2.0 percent on month to A$36.070 billion.

The aussie rose to 0.6765 against the greenback, from a low of 0.6744 seen at 7:30 pm ET. If the aussie rises further, 0.71 is seen as its next resistance level.

The aussie appreciated to 74.39 against the yen, its biggest since January 8. The next possible resistance for the aussie is seen around the 76.5 mark.

The aussie advanced to an 8-day high of 1.6257 against the euro and more than a 3-week high of 1.0446 against the kiwi, from its early lows of 1.6309 and 1.0410, respectively. On the upside, 1.60 and 1.08 are possibly seen as the next resistance for the aussie against the euro and the kiwi, respectively.

Reversing from an early low of 0.8959 against the loonie, the aussie edged higher to 0.8986. The aussie may locate resistance around the 0.92 level.

The yen weakened to 109.98 against the greenback, its lowest since January 22. The yen is seen finding support around the 111.00 region.

The yen dropped to 112.90 against the franc, 120.94 against the euro and 142.81 against the pound, from its early highs of 112.68, 120.68 and 142.56, respectively. Next likely support for the yen is seen around 116.00 against the franc, 122.00 against the euro and 147.00 against the pound.

The yen that ended yesterday's trading at 82.68 against the loonie declined to an 8-day low of 82.80. The yen is poised to challenge support around the 84.00 area.

Looking ahead, at 3.00 am ET, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is set to speak at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The European Central Bank's monthly economic bulletin and EU quarterly economic forecasts are due in the European session.

In the New York session, U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended February 1 are slated for release.

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