GLOBAL MARKETS-Dollar nears key 100 yen level after G20, shares slip on U.S. data
* Dollar eyes 100 yen after G20 accepts Japan stimulus
* Shares pressured by weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data
* Gold jumps over 2 pct, rebounding from last week's tumble
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 22 (Reuters) - The Japanese yen hovered near the key level of 100 to the dollar on Monday after the G20 accepted Japan's bold stimulus policies, while weak economic data out of the United States pressured global equities markets.
Japanese officials said that the Group of 20 nations accepted that the country's $1.4 trillion stimulus program is aimed at conquering 15 years of deflation rather than at weakening the yen.
In response, the dollar climbed as high as 99.90 yen, within striking distance of a four-year high of 99.95 set on April 11 and the 100 level, where option barriers are said to be lined up. At 1338 GMT, it was at 99.49 yen, nearly flat from the previous session.
"The lack of pushback by the G20 effectively gives the BOJ room to ease further if needed and should keep the yen biased broadly lower," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst with Commonwealth Foreign Exchange Inc in Washington, DC.
The G20's actions removed any remaining obstacles to further yen weakness, setting up a test of the symbolic 100 yen to the dollar level and boosting demand for Japanese stocks.
Major world central banks have been holding interest rates at rock-bottom levels since 2008 while pumping over $6 trillion into their banking systems through loans and asset-purchase operations, with only modest success so far.
The euro also remained vulnerable against the dollar on central bank expectations. On Monday, the single currency fell 0.23 percent to $1.3021.
Technical analysts at SEB said that a break below $1.3026 would likely "trigger a new round of selling" in the euro, with the next support then seen at $1.3001.
U.S. stocks failed to rebound from their worst week in 2013 after weaker-than-expected data in the housing sector, as well as mixed results from major companies like Caterpillar Inc and Halliburton Co.
European stocks, which initially traded higher, helped up a jump in Italy's blue-chip index, lost most of their gains following the U.S. data.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 65.80 points, or 0.45 percent, at 14,481.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 5.42 points, or 0.35 percent, at 1,549.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 4.35 points, or 0.14 percent, at 3,201.71.
The broad FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 1 percent. Paris's CAC-40 fell 0.4 percent and Frankfurt's DAX lost about 0.1 percent.
MSCI's world equity index lost 0.8 percent.
In commodity markets, gold rebounded from its sharp sell-off last week, though sentiment remained shaky after the precious metal posted its biggest-ever daily loss in dollar terms last Monday.
The spot gold price rose more than 2 percent at one point to a high of $1,436.70 an ounce, well above the two-year low of $1,321.35 touched last week.
U.S. gold futures hit a high of 1,434.50 an ounce, up 2.8 percent from the previous close of 1,395.60.
Oil futures rose above $100 a barrel on Monday, extending the two previous sessions' gains as prices drew buyers back into the market following sharp drops earlier in the month.
June Brent crude was up 72 cents to $100.37 a barrel. U.S. crude for June delivery was up 50 cents to $88.77 a barrel after hitting a high of $89.45.
In Treasuries, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 6/32, with the yield at 1.6843 percent.
- Radar showed missing plane may have turned back: Malaysia military
- Malaysian jetliner may have turned back before vanishing |
- Malaysian plane presumed crashed; questions over false IDs |
- Malaysian jet's disappearance among rarest of aviation disasters