News Column

Dollar returns to lower 104 yen zone after dip following BOJ meeting

January 22, 2014

TOKYO , Jan. 22 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The U.S. dollar traded in the lower 104 yen zone in Tokyo for most of Wednesday, briefly diving against the yen on the back of the Bank of Japan's decision to hold firm on its existing monetary policy. At 5 p.m. , the dollar fetched 104.36-38 yen compared with 104.25-35 yen in New York and 104.67-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday . It moved between 103.97 yen and 104.58 yen during the day, changing hands most frequently at 104.23 yen . The euro was quoted at $1.3544-3546 and 141.35-39 yen against $1.3556-3566 and 141.39-49 yen in New York and $1.3546-3548 and 141.79-83 yen in Tokyo late Tuesday afternoon. The yen jumped and then fell back against the dollar and the euro after the BOJ's decision to maintain its quantitative easing at the conclusion of a two-day meeting that ended Wednesday. "Although market participants largely speculated the BOJ would not alter its policy, the sharp climb in the yen immediately after the announcement indicates some traders were betting on fresh easing measures," said Toshiyuki Suzuki , senior market economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ . In the morning, hesitance to trade ahead of the BOJ announcement saw the dollar move in a narrow range against the yen, said Yuzo Sakai , manager of foreign exchange business promotion at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow . A spike in the Australian consumer price index, released in the morning, slightly stoked risk appetite, but its effects on the yen's weakening were limited as traders hesitated to make major moves ahead of the BOJ announcement, Sakai said. Traders outside of Japan will keep their eyes on the content of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos later in the day. "Although it's not known how detailed he will explain his plans for economic reform, certainly he will display his strong intent, and if this gets a favorable reception it should underpin major currencies against the yen," Suzuki said. "Abe has taken several opportunities to pitch his economic policies on the world stage over the last few months, and at Davos he may be looking to offset the fallout over his visit to Yasukuni Shrine." Abe's visit to the war-linked shrine in late December created ripples of uneasiness which are still lingering outside of Japan , Suzuki said. But the impact of both the BOJ meeting and Abe's comments are likely to fall relatively low in traders' minds compared with next week's policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the next round of U.S. jobs data, as the state of the U.S. economy remains the major currency mover, he said.

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Source: Japan Economic Newswire

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