News Column

Yen Weakens On Hawkish Fed Minutes

August 20, 2014

BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - The Japanese yen weakened against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Thursday as the FOMC minutes released Wednesday suggested that the US central bank may be closing in on the schedule for normalizing interest rates.

Helped by the weaker yen, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index is currently up 121.37 points or 0.79% at 15,575.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, will speak on the labor market at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank's economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday. Traders look ahead to the speech for further cues on the monetary policy outlook.

Meanwhile, a report from Markit Economics showed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand at an accelerating pace in August - with a score of 52.4. That handily beat forecasts for a score of 51.5 following the 50.5 reading in July.

The yen fell to a 4-1/2-month low of 103.95 against the US dollar, from an early high of 103.66. If the yen extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around the 104.96.

Against the Swiss franc and the euro, the yen slipped to a 5-week low of 113.69 and nearly a 3-week low of 137.72 from early highs of 113.48 and 137.45, respectively. The yen may test support near 114.08 against the franc and 173.33 against the euro.

Looking ahead, Swiss trade data for July is due at 2:00 am ET.

In the European session, PMIs from major European economies for August, UK retail sales data and public sector net borrowing for July are due to be released.

In the New york session, US weekly jobless claims for the week ended August 16, Markit's US manufacturing PMI for August, existing home sales and the Conference Board's US leading economic indicators index for July and Eurozone consumer sentiment index for August are due to be released.

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Source: Alliance News

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