* Yen's three-day gain versus dollar biggest since June 2012
* Long-term yen weakness to resume on stimulus speculation
* IMF lowers 2013 global growth forecasts, cites euro zone
By Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, Jan 23 The yen rose against the dollar
and euro on Wednesday, a day after the Bank of Japan
disappointed investors who had hoped for more aggressive
monetary easing, but the weaker yen trend looked intact.
The dollar fell for a third straight day against the yen,
losing a total of 1.6 percent during the period, the largest
three-day percentage decline in seven months. Still, the dollar
is up about 10 percent against the yen since mid-November.
Analysts expect the yen to resume its weakness. The BOJ will
remain under pressure to inject more stimulus into the economy,
which will hurt the currency. Charts and positioning in the
options market also pointed to medium-term yen weakness, with
some betting on a move to 100 yen per dollar.
Paresh Upadhyaya, director of currency at Pioneer
Investments in Boston, said a rise in the dollar in the fourth
quarter could add to the momentum to yen weakness.
"The U.S. economy is performing better than expected," said
Upadhyaya. "U.S. yields will start to head higher and interest
rates differential will move against the yen."
The dollar fell 0.1 percent to 88.59 yen, retreating
from a 2-1/2-year high of 90.25 yen set on Monday, according to
The Canadian dollar tumbled after the Bank of Canada held
its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent but pushed back the
timing of any further interest rate increases. The U.S. dollar
jumped 0.8 percent to C$0.9988.
"BOC has effectively pushed out their tightening date by at
least 6 months," said Alan Ruskin, head of G10 FX strategy at
Deutsche Bank in New York.
Sterling recovered from a near five-month low against the
dollar after better-than-expected UK jobs data and Bank of
England minutes that cast doubt on the need for more monetary
easing. The pound was last little changed at $1.5838.
The euro fell 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.3312
, with traders citing technical factors and after the
International Monetary Fund trimmed its 2013 forecast for global
growth, partly due to an unexpectedly stubborn euro zone
The IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, also said
"optimism is in the air, particularly in financial markets, and
some cautious optimism may indeed be justified."
"There's a little bit of a reality check that's taking place
in the market," Upadhyaya said. "That might be leading to a
temporary pause in this risk rally."
BEARISH ON YEN
The euro fell 0.1 percent against the yen to 118.05 yen
, with three-day losses at 1.6 percent. That's the
largest three-day loss since November.
The Bank of Japan said on Tuesday its open-ended commitment
to buy assets would kick in only next year, disappointing those
who had expected a faster, more aggressive move.
Analysts said a change in BoJ leadership in April is also
expected to weigh on the yen, with the market expecting Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe to appoint a governor favoring more
aggressive monetay easing.
"There was obviously disappointment about the BoJ's
measures. However, I don't see the moves the last three days as
a reversal of the bullish trend in dollar/yen," said Vassili
Serebriakov, currency strategist at BNP Paribas in New York.
"We are still seeing a lot of interest in buying the
currency pair and we still expect further upside," he added.
Commerzbank in a note to clients said the dollar/yen has
recently failed at 90.25 four times, suggesting "the near term
risk is for a slightly deeper retracement ahead of the next leg
higher." The bank said its target remains 93.32.