By: Gerry Davies

Japan PM Abe: Important for BOJ to take responsibility to achieve 2% inflation goal. Will aim to compile draft budget for 2013/2014 by end of January - Jiji Japan chief cabinet secretary Suga:  Want to give priority to person familiar with Abe's thinking as next BOJ governor The Greece of Asia: Japan's growing sovereign debt time bomb - Der Speigel German November prelim retail sales +1.2% m/m, -0.9% y/y, stronger than median forecasts of +0.8%, -1.6% respectively Eurozone December final services PMI unchanged from flash read at 47.8, as expected. Up from 46.7 in November Eurozone December inflation estimate 2.2% y/y, unchanged from November, but slightly above median forecast of 2.1% UK December services PMI 48.9,  down from 50.2 in November and fair bit weaker than Reuters' median forecast of 50.5 Spain drains fund backing pensions - WSJ Ernst & Young:  High odds Italy will ask for bailout in 2013; Upcoming elections possible catalyst Oldest Swiss bank to close after tax evasion fine - BBC Switzerland and Britain are now at currency war - AEP at The Telegraph Greenback firm across the board this morning, underpinned by yesterdays FOMC minutes and expectations of  strong US non-farm payrolls later today.  US treasury yields continue firm,  the benchmark 10 year yield presently at 1.9577% from the 1.9290% which greeted mefirst thing. EUR/USD down at 1.3010 from early 1.3040.  Selling by an Asian central bank as European traders were arriving at their desks set the tone.  But for the most part its been pretty lacklustre fare, the euro bears unable so far to pierce the psychological 1.3000 line.  Talk of sell stops below there and more through 1.2980.