FOREX-Yen at 10-day high vs dlr as BOJ offers little on more easing

Tue Apr 8, 2014 3:57am EDT

Related Topics

* BOJ keeps policy unchanged as expected

* BOJ Governor Kuroda sees no immediate need to ease policy

* Euro supported by wait-and-watch stance by ECB policymakers (adds comments, details)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - The yen rose on Tuesday, as some investors trimmed bets against it after the Bank of Japan held off from additional easing and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda offered little indication that more stimulus was likely in the short term.

The dollar fell 0.4 percent to a 10-day low of 102.615 yen while the euro shed 0.2 percent to 141.30 yen.

The yen, which was also being helped by a drop in stock markets with which it has an inverse correlation, had been inching up before the BOJ policy decision.

It extended those gains after BOJ kept policy unchanged, and strengthened further after Kuroda sounded upbeat about the economy and said, despite a sales tax hike in April, growth would pick up in coming months as would inflation.

Many investors have been selling the yen in anticipation that the sales tax hike will hurt consumption and the BoJ may have to ease policy in coming months to soften the blow.

"Kuroda is signalling a 'steady-as-she-goes' hand as regards to monetary policy which will disappoint some yen bears," said Peter Kinsella, currency strategist at Commerzbank. "Unless inflation falls sharply it doesn't look that they will ease."

The greenback has also struggled against the yen in recent sessions after U.S. jobs data on Friday disappointed some investors who have been betting on a faster recovery in the world's largest economy. It has pulled back from a 10-week high of 104.13 yen set on Friday.

The BoJ stuck to its existing monetary stimulus, confident that it did not need further support measures.

"It seems the (BOJ's post meeting) statement very much adopted a wait-and-see attitude," said Callum Henderson, global head of FX research for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

"That said, the low volatility in FX markets generally should be mildly supportive for carry trades and indirectly for dollar/yen," Henderson said.

Low volatility, which indicates currencies pairs are unlikely to see huge swings, leads to a favourable environment for carry trades where investors borrow in a low-yielding currency to invest in riskier ones.

That is likely to underpin higher-yielding, growth-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar against the yen and would keep the yen's gains in check against the U.S. dollar, Henderson added.

The euro inched up against the dollar, to trade at $1.3755 , staying above a one-month low of $1.3672 set on Friday.

The euro gained support after the European Central Bank again played down the need for any immediate policy action. ECB policymakers stressed on Monday the bank was still a long way off from making large-scale asset purchases.

Investors had sold the common currency late last week after the ECB opened the door to using unconventional measures including asset purchases to keep inflation from staying too low and undermining the euro area recovery. (Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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