The Japanese weakened against other major currencies in the Asian session on Friday as Asian stock markets traded higher, after the latest batch of U.S. economic data showing a bigger than expected drop in retail sales in the month of January raised the possibility of an interest rate cut as early as June.

The U.S. Fed also released a report showing industrial production in the U.S. unexpectedly edged slightly lower in January.

Crude oil futures traded higher as the dollar weakened after the weak retail sales data raised hopes of a rate cut by the Federal Reserve in June. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for March rallied $1.39 or 1.8 percent at $78.03 a barrel.

In the Asian trading today, the yen fell to nearly a 1-month low of 161.79 against the euro, from yesterday's closing value of 161.47. The yen may test support near the 162.00 region.

Against the Canada and the Australian dollars, the yen slid to a 16-year low of 111.50 and a 2-1/2-month low of 98.00 from yesterday's closing quotes of 111.32 and 97.80, respectively. If the yen extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 112.00 against the loonie and 99.00 against the aussie.

The yen slipped to 189.16 against the pound and 170.60 against the Swiss franc, from Thursday's closing quotes of 188.89 and 170.35, respectively. On the downside, 191.00 against the pound and 172.00 against the franc are seen as the next support levels for the yen.

Against the U.S. and New Zealand dollars, the yen dropped to 150.37 and 91.69 from yesterday's closing quotes of 149.91 and 91.54, respectively. The next possible downside target for the yen is seen around 152.00 against the greenback and 92.00 against the kiwi.

Looking ahead,Canada wholesale sales data for December, U.S. building permits, PPI and housing starts, all for January, U.S. University of Michigan consumer sentiment for February and U.S. Baker Hughes oil rig count data are slated for release in the New York session.

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