* USD nears 100 yen, but down against most other currencies
* AUD at 2-1/2 month highs vs USD, jobs data in focus
* Fed minutes discounted due to poor March payrolls report
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, April 11 The dollar came within a hair's
breadth of 100 yen early in Asia on Thursday with the Japanese
currency seeing little respite in selling pressure after the
Bank of Japan reiterated its resolve to pull the economy out of
a deflationary funk.
The greenback bought 99.79 yen, having risen as high
as 99.88. It has gained more than 7 percent on the yen since the
BOJ last week unveiled a radical stimulus programme that even
eclipsed the Federal Reserve's own massive plan.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda late on Wednesday signalled his
readiness to offer further stimulus or maintain an ultra-easy
policy beyond two years if meeting its 2-percent inflation
target by then proves difficult.
Dealers said there were barriers around the 100 level, which
if reached would take the greenback to highs not seen since
mid-April 2009. A break there would pave the way for a test of
the April 2009 peak of 101.45.
Trading was choppy overnight as the market reacted to the
comments from Kuroda and minutes of the Federal Reserve's March
The Fed has also launched an investigation into how the
minutes got released early to some people. For now, it appeared
to be accidental.
While the minutes were described by some analysts as having
a hawkish tinge, the market largely discounted them because of
the dismal March payrolls report.
In the end, investors resumed selling the yen against
"We forecast USD/JPY rising to 102 at the end of Q2, 103 at
the end of Q3 and 105 at year end. Meanwhile, EUR/JPY and
AUD/JPY are likely to appreciate significantly reaching 140 and
116, respectively, this year," BNP Paribas strategist Vassili
The euro climbed to 130.42 yen, having touched a
fresh three-year high of 130.57. Against the greenback, the
common currency hit a one-month high of $1.3122, before
easing back to $1.3068.
As a result, the dollar index briefly dipped to a
near three-week low.
Higher-yielding commodity currencies were among the best
performers with the Australian dollar jumping to a 2-1/2 month
high of $1.0553.
It was nearing its 2013 peak of $1.0599 set in January, a
resistance level that could be tested if employment data for
March due at 0030 GMT surprised on the upside. But after
February's stunning rise of 71,500 jobs, chances are high for a
corrective pullback in March.
The Aussie dollar was also supported by data on Wednesday
that showed strong exports to China, Australia's single biggest
Against the yen, the Aussie soared to 105.26,
bringing into focus the 108.00 level that had capped its rise
back in 2007.
Also on tap are Japan's machinery orders and an
interest rate decision by the Bank of Korea. Analysts polled by
Reuters expect the BOK to cut interest rates to 2.5 percent,
from 2.75 percent, in a bid to revive growth.