FOREX-Yen falls versus dollar, euro ahead of G20 meeting
April 17, 2013
By Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) – The yen fell for a second straight day against the dollar and euro on Wednesday on expectations major developed and emerging economies will not voice strong concern over Japan’s aggressive monetary easing that has triggered a sharp slide in its currency.
The euro slid from a seven-week high against the dollar, tracking losses in European shares. Traders also cited a media report in which a former European Central Bank board member expressed concerns about the euro’s gains.
Policymakers from the Group of 20 countries begin meetings in Washington on Thursday. Speculation members may discuss the yen’s weakness had grown earlier this week after Washington said it would watch Japan’s policies.
But those concerns eased after comments from other officials suggested the group as a whole will not criticise the policy on the grounds that it is motivated by domestic economic concerns.
“Dollar/yen has moved a bit higher, trying to hold the 98 level, as traders now expect that the G20 meeting later this week will not be as ‘difficult’ for the Japanese delegation as first suspected,” said Matthew Lifson, senior trader and analyst at Cambridge Mercantile Group in Princeton, New Jersey.
“Most predictions for the dollar/yen still expect a test of the 105.00 level by mid-summer as ‘Abenomics’ continues in Japan,” he said.
The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 98.01 yen, although it remained below the four-year high of 99.94 yen set on Reuters data last week. The dollar has gained 5 percent since Japan’s aggressive easing action early this month and has climbed 13 percent so far this year.
Many analysts believe that the abundance of global liquidity due to monetary easing in Japan and the United States will also lead to further weakness in the yen as Japanese domestic investors look to use it to buy overseas assets with better returns.
Investors will closely watch the weekly flows data from Japan’s Ministry of Finance due out on Thursday, currency strategists at Brown Brothers Harriman wrote to clients.
“There is keen interest in how Japanese investors are going to respond to the new, more aggressive, Bank of Japan monetary policy,” they said. “Markets were disappointed that last week’s Ministry of Finance data showed that Japanese investors were not only net sellers of foreign bonds, but they sold the most in a year.”
The euro rose 0.2 percent to 128.80 yen. Against the dollar, the euro slipped 0.3 percent to $1.3140. It had hit a session peak of $1.3201, matching a seven-week high set in the previous session.
A media report cited former member of the ECB Executive Board Lorenzo Bini Smaghi as saying the central bank should find ways to stop the euro from gaining. Some analysts said this could reflect euro zone policymakers’ growing concern about the region’s weak economic growth.
Traders also reported selling of the euro against the yen by hedge funds. The single currency is now some way off a three-year peak of 131.11 yen hit last week.
Sterling hit a one-month low against the euro on Wednesday after data showing weak earnings growth and a rise in Britain’s unemployment rate added to concerns about the fragile economic outlook.
The euro rose 0.5 percent to 86.21 pence. Against the dollar, the pound fell 0.8 percent to $1.5241 .
The Swedish crown fell after the Riksbank, the country’s central bank, held interest rates as expected but delayed plans for tighter policy well into next year.
The euro rose to a one-and-a-half month high around 8.4760 crowns and last traded at 8.4674, up 1 percent.