Sun, Apr 07, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Yen leads drop in Asian currencies on BOJ measures

Bloomberg and Staff writer, with CNA

The yen slid the most against the US dollar in more than three years after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) outstripped forecasts and announced unprecedented measures to fight deflation, spurring concern the currency would be debased.

The greenback fell against the euro by the most in almost three months as US jobs gains last month trailed forecasts, adding to speculation US economic growth was faltering and the US Federal Reserve would not slacken stimulus soon.

The yen also declined the most against the euro since 2010, as Japan’s central bank said it would double its bond buying.

“This was at the upper bound of market expectations,” Richard Cochinos, a currency strategist at Bank of America Corp in New York, said on Friday in a phone interview of the BOJ’s announcement. “It’s in our view a very yen-negative event that should have longer-term flow implications. The fact that we had a very weak payroll and you didn’t see dollar-yen significantly lower is very meaningful.”

The yen tumbled 3.4 percent, the most since the five days ended Dec. 4, 2009, to ¥97.57 per US dollar this week in New York, snapping a three-week winning streak. It touched ¥97.83, the weakest level since June 2009. The yen dropped 4.7 percent, the most since the week ended Sept. 17, 2010, to ¥126.79 per euro.

Against Europe’s shared currency, the greenback lost 1.3 percent, the most since Jan. 11, to US$1.2991 per euro, falling for the first week since March 15.

Asian currencies ex-Japan fell the most this week since January. The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index declined 0.3 percent since March 29, the most since the week ending Jan. 25.

NT TESTING 30?

In Taipei, the New Taiwan dollar slid 0.2 percent this week to close at NT$29.925 against the US dollar on Wednesday.

With the Taipei stock and foreign exchange markets closed since Thursday for the Tomb Sweeping Festival, the US dollar may test the NT$30 level next week, Taipei traders said on Friday.

They said they expect the central bank to intervene when the market reopens, in view of the bank’s policy of maintaining an orderly foreign exchange market.

The last time the US dollar climbed above NT$30 was on Aug. 28 last year, when it closed at NT$30.007, market data showed.

South Korea’s won slumped 1.8 percent to a seven-month low of 1,131.69 per US dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Philippine peso dropped 0.9 percent to 41.18 and India’s rupee depreciated 1 percent to 54.8125, the most in a month.

“Japan’s surprisingly big size of stimulus sparked a strong bout of dollar buying,” said Jeon Seung Ji, a Seoul-based currency analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. “Concerns over a global economic recovery also weighed on emerging-market currencies this week.”

The Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region’s most active currencies excluding the yen, has retreated 1.5 percent from a 16-month high of 118.89 on Jan. 18.

India’s rupee slid after the central bank said on March 28 that the current-account deficit widened to a record US$32.6 billion in the final quarter of last year, from US$22.6 billion in the preceding three months.

Malaysia’s ringgit rallied 1.2 percent to 3.0570 per US dollar from March 29 after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament on Wednesday and called for national elections. The currency reached a seven-month low of 3.1395 on March 18.

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