FOREX-Dollar drops against yen on U.S. earnings-season jitters

Tue Jul 8, 2014 12:00pm EDT

Related Topics

* Dollar drops against yen as Treasuries yields fall

* Investors turn risk averse before earnings season

* Focus on Fed meeting minutes due on Wednesday (Adds quote, details on yen, updates prices)

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell against the Japanese yen on Tuesday as long-dated Treasuries yields dropped for a second day, with investors wary about stocks heading into the U.S. corporate earnings season.

The dollar has erased the gains it made against the yen on a strong U.S. employment report last Thursday that showed the U.S. economy continuing to gain strength. It has stabilized at two-week highs against the euro.

Safety buying of long-dated Treasuries is seen as limiting dollar strength, at least in the near term, with investors wary about the stock market at record levels heading into earnings season.

"We've seen a bit of risk aversion in the market and the tendency for yields to fall in the U.S., and the dollar to fall in sync with it," said Sebastien Galy, senior foreign exchange analyst at Societe Generale in New York. "It's driven by equities."

Two-year Treasuries note yields have risen above the key 0.50 percent level even as long-dated Treasuries yields have fallen, indicating near-term market jitters.

The dollar fell 0.29 percent against the yen on Tuesday to 101.53 yen, down from 102.82 yen late on Monday.

Falling Treasury yields benefit the yen against the dollar as it makes U.S. bonds relatively less attractive, even though Treasuries still pay much higher yields than Japanese government debt, said Marc Chandler, chief currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.

"The dollar is sensitive to U.S. interest rates and U.S interest rates are lower now than they were after we got the jobs data," Chandler said.

The spread between yields on 10-year Treasuries and Japanese equivalents contracted to 202 basis points on Tuesday, in from 208 basis points last Thursday.

The next major focus for the market will be the release on Wednesday of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's June meeting, which will be scoured for signs about when central bank members see an interest rate increase as likely.

Analysts see the dollar as unlikely to rally further unless there are stronger indications from the Fed that a rate hike is likely to come sooner than expected.

Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, said on Tuesday that he sees inflation firming this year, and that data gathered in the last few months was not the "noise" that some think, underscoring his hawkish view that inflation threats are gaining traction.

Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota is due to speak later on Tuesday.

The dollar also fell 0.06 percent against the euro to $1.3613. The dollar has largely traded sideways against the euro for the past three days, after an initial rally on Thursday's U.S. jobs data.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a broad basket of currencies, dipped to 80.167, down from 80.218 on Monday. (Editing by Peter Galloway and Nick Zieminski)

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