FOREX-USD bulls frustrated by 100 yen barrier; NZD shines

Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:24pm EDT

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* Dollar/yen tantalisingly close to 100

* Selling interest still seen on any rise in yen

* Kiwi dollar a standout performer

By Ian Chua

SYDNEY, April 12 (Reuters) - The dollar stayed within spitting distance of 100 yen in Asia on Friday as dips were met with buying interest, putting dollar/yen on track for a second week of gains and the biggest two-week rise in four years.

Since last week's unveiling of a massive stimulus programme by the Bank of Japan and a swift follow-up with bond buying this week, the dollar has shot up nearly 6 percent on the yen. The euro's surge was an even more impressive 8 percent, its biggest two-week rise on record.

The dollar bought 99.69 yen in early trade, having dipped to 99.10 overnight where buyers quickly emerged. Earlier in the week, it came within an inch of 100 yen, but ran into heavy option-related offers ahead of the psychological level. A break above would bring the April 2009 peak of 101.45 into view.

The euro was at 130.70 yen, after reaching a fresh three-year peak around 131.11. The common currency was now eyeing its January 2010 high of 134.37.

Analysts have been quick to revise up their forecasts for dollar/yen and Societe Generale analysts are now targeting an eventual rise to 110, up from 103 previously.

David Rodriguez, strategist at DailyFX said it was only time before the 100 level is taken out.

"Recent market moves emphasise that traders should not fight the Bank of Japan," he said in a client note.

Another standout performer was the New Zealand dollar, which gained more than 2 percent this week to a 20-month high of US$0.8676. Against the yen, it was up 4.7 percent this week to a five-year high of 86.43.

The rise in the kiwi came after Reserve Bank of New Zealand Deputy Governor warned on Monday that interest rates may have to be lifted to cool off the housing market.

There is little in the way of major economic news out of Asia on Friday. Singapore's first quarter growth numbers are due later in the day as well as a policy decision by the city state's central bank.

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