FOREX-Yen under pressure, sticks close to 4-year low vs dollar

Tue Apr 9, 2013 8:03pm EDT

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* Dollar could break 100-yen level this week-strategist

* Chinese trade data awaited; could show export growth pullback

TOKYO, April 10 (Reuters) - The yen bobbed around a nearly four-year low against its U.S. counterparts on Wednesday, with strategists expecting the Japanese currency to break below the 100-yen level in coming days now that the Bank of Japan has unleashed its most ambitious monetary expansion campaigns.

Investors also awaited cues from Chinese trade data later in the session, which could show a pullback in annual export growth after February's rise.

The dollar was steady from late U.S. levels at 99.05 yen on trading platform EBS, after rising as high as 99.67 yen on Tuesday, its strongest level since May 2009.

Technical resistance lies at 99.73 yen, which is the 50 percent retracement of the dollar's drop from its June 2007 high of 124.14 yen to its record low of 75.311 yen set in October 2011. Options barriers also lie around the 100-yen level, market participants have said.

"Dollar/yen failed to make a run for 100 over the past 24 hours but this does not mean the currency pair will not try again before the end of the week," said Kathy Lien, director at BK Asset Management in New York.

"We believe that it will only be a matter of time before this level is taken out," she said in a note to clients.

The BOJ unveiled a radical monetary policy overhaul last week aimed at defeating deflation by pumping about $1.4 trillion yen into the economy and doubling Japan's monetary base in two years.

The move was even bigger than yen bears had anticipated, and prompted many strategists to rejig their forecasts in favour of the greenback.

The euro edged down about 0.1 percent on the Japanese unit to 129.53 yen, after rising as high as 130.09 yen on EBS on Tuesday, its loftiest level since January 2010. The euro was steady against the dollar at $1.30805.

The Australian dollar gave back some of its recent sharp gains against the yen, buying 103.93 yen after rising as high as 104.35 yen on Tuesday, its highest since mid-2008. The Aussie also bought $1.0490, up about 0.1 percent on the day.

Later on Wednesday, investors will be watching the release of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's last monetary policy meeting, for any signal on whether the central bank could slow or halt its asset buying stimulus.

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