Sun, Apr 14, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Asian currencies see best week of the year

Bloomberg

The yen weakened 0.8 percent to ¥98.37 to the US dollar this week in New York and reached ¥99.95 on Thursday, the highest since April 2009. It sank 1.8 percent to ¥129.02 per euro and touched ¥131.12, the loewest since January 2010. The 17-nation currency rallied 0.9 percent to US$1.3113 in a second weekly gain.

The yen will probably weaken to ¥101.25 to the US dollar if it breaches the ¥100 level, IG Markets Securities Ltd in Tokyo said.

Bank of Japan officials on April 4 said the central bank will increase its monthly bond purchases to ¥7.5 trillion (US$77 billion), exceeding the ¥5.2 trillion forecast in a Bloomberg survey. They set a two-year horizon for their goal of achieving 2 percent inflation.

The Dollar Index, which Intercontinental Exchange Inc uses to track the greenback against the currencies of six major US trade partners, declined 0.2 percent to 82.311 this week and touched 82.046, the lowest since March 7, as lower-than-forecast retail sales added to bets that the US Federal Reserve will maintain its stimulus measures.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose as investors sought higher-yielding assets.

New Zealand’s currency, the kiwi, was the biggest winner against the US dollar, gaining 1.9 percent to US$0.8589. The yen was the biggest loser.

The US Treasury said in a report on Friday it will press Japan to refrain from competitive devaluation and from targeting its exchange rate for competitive purposes.

Meanwhile, the pound strengthened for a second week against the US dollar as a report showed growth in British industrial production beat economists’ forecast in February.

The pound rose 0.2 percent in the week to US$1.5366 and depreciated 0.6 percent to £0.8519 per euro.

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