Fragile yen picks up as intervention chatter runs rife, dollar slips

LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Telegram FX Signals –  The yen rose slightly on Wednesday, moving away from the closely watched 150 per dollar mark, after a short-lived surge in the previous session stoked speculation that Japanese authorities could have intervened to support the currency.

best forex account with forex signalsThe Japanese currency was up around 0.12% at 148.91 per dollar in early European trading, after unexpectedly surging nearly 2% at one point on Tuesday to 147.30. The spike came after it slipped to 150.165 per dollar, its weakest since October 2022.

Meanwhile the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six peers, was down 0.33% at 106.73 as it gave up some of its recent gains. Yet it remained close to the nearly 11-month high of 107.34 reached in the previous session.

The euro rose 0.41% to $1.0509. But it did not stray far from Tuesday’s low of $1.0448, its weakest level since December, triggering talk of a fall back to $1.

Japan’s top currency diplomat, Masato Kanda, said he would not comment on whether Tokyo intervened in the exchange rate market overnight, although he said that “we have only taken steps that have the understanding of U.S. authorities”.

The Bank of Japan’s money market data showed on Wednesday that Japan likely did not intervene in the currency market a day earlier.

Analysts were divided on the issue. “Them stepping in here would be perfectly consistent with recent warnings from top officials and past behaviour,” said James Malcolm, head of FX strategy at UBS.

Nicholas Rees, FX market analyst at broker Monex Europe, said it was “not necessarily fresh intervention”.

“Markets have been hesitant to take USD/JPY north of 150 on intervention risk for a week now, it’s unsurprising to see skittish downside price action once the level was broken,” he said.

Japanese authorities last year intervened to prop up the yen for the first time since 1998.

The currency has slumped around 14% against the dollar this year as U.S. bond yields have risen sharply compared to their Japanese peers as the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates.

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The dollar slipped after rising 0.85% over the previous two days, boosted by upbeat data on Tuesday showing U.S. job openings unexpectedly increased in August.

Adam Cole, chief currency strategist at RBC Capital Markets, said the greenback was slipping as investors moved out of cash and into stocks and bonds on Wednesday.

He said the recent rally in the dollar had been driven by a move to cash as markets fall. “This is a sort of re-run of the price action that we saw for most of 2022, when bonds and equities both fall and the dollar is the beneficiary.”

The greenback has rallied around 3.5% over the last three months, boosted by a sharp rise in U.S. bond yields as growth has stayed strong and the Fed looks set to keep interest rates high for longer than previously expected.

The euro rose even as data showed that euro zone retail sales fell much more than expected in August and that the bloc’s economy probably shrank last quarter.

Sterling climbed 0.49% to $1.2137, rebounding after falling to a nearly seven-month low of $1.20535 in the previous session.

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar fell after its central bank held the cash rate steady at 5.5%, as policymakers grew more confident that past hikes were working to bring down inflation as desired.

The decision sent the kiwi sliding more than 0.5% to a nearly one-month low of $0.5871. But it last traded $0.5901, flat on the day.

Fragile yen picks up as intervention chatter runs rife, dollar slips

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Fragile yen picks up as intervention chatter runs rife, dollar slips

Fragile yen picks up as intervention chatter runs rife, dollar slips