The Japanese yen and Australian dollar held largely steady in early Asia Thursday ahead of a busy data day in China and the region with industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset growth from Beijing. USD/JPY traded flat at 115.54, while AUD/USD changed hands at 0.8718, up 0.02%. EUR/USD traded at 1.2435, down 0.02%. Japan starts off at 0850 Tokyo time, with September machinery orders and October CGPI. The forecast for private-sector core orders is a drop of 1.9% month-on-month, which would be the first drop in four months. For CGPI, the median forecast is a gain of 3.3% on year, the 19th straight year-on-year increase. In Australia, the November MI inflation expectations release is due at 1100 Sydney time (0000 GMT). The previous reading was last up 2.6%. Then, Reserve Bank of Australia’s assistant governor Christopher Kent is due to speak at 1230 (0130 GMT). In China, October data releases at 1330 local time (0530 GMT), include industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment. Industrial output is seen steady at 8.0% while January-October fixed-asset investment growth is expected to have fallen for a fourth straight month to just 15.9% year-on-year, the slowest pace of growth since December 2001. October retail sales growth is expected to have held at September’s pace of 11.6% year-on-year. Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against its peers on Wednesday in a session void of major U.S. economic indicators, though a lackluster European industrial production report softened the euro and fueled demand for the greenback. Earlier Wednesday, Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, reported that industrial production in the euro area increased by 0.6% in September, missing forecasts for a monthly gain of 1.0%. Industrial production in August fell by 1.4%. Year-on-year, industrial production inched up 0.6% in September from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 0.2% decline and after dropping at a rate of 0.5% in the preceding month. The lackluster report stoked concerns over the outlook for economic growth in the single currency bloc after weak Italian data on Monday fueled fears that its economy is falling back into a recession. Meanwhile, the dollar saw demand due to ongoing expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to recover while European and Asian economies take steps to loosen monetary policy to ward off deflationary pressures. The US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, fell 0.03% at 87.87. On Thursday, the U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims.