* Upbeat U.S. retail sales halt slide in U.S. yields, turn
* Yen & Australian dollar among biggest casualties
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, Jan 15 The yen and Australian dollar
nursed heavy losses early on Wednesday, having suffered a swift
turnaround in fortunes as a shakeout in long dollar positions
came to an abrupt end following upbeat U.S. retail sales data.
Traders said the retail numbers helped offset Friday's
disappointingly soft payrolls and halted a two-day slide in U.S.
Treasury yields. That in turn gave the greenback a shot in the
The dollar rallied more than 1 percent against the yen to
104.29, pulling away from a near one-month trough of
102.85 plumbed Monday. It also scaled a four-year peak on its
Canadian counterpart to C$1.0960.
Also helping underpin the dollar, two of the Federal
Reserve's most hawkish policymakers who take up voting power
this year said the central bank should bring its bond-buying
program to a swift close.
Fickle investors quickly brought forward the likely timing
of the first Fed rate hike to August 2015 , having only
just pushed it out towards the back end of 2015 in the wake of
Friday's jobs numbers.
"As a result, the USD came back to life and managed to
regain ground against the majors," said Stan Shamu, market
strategist at IG in Melbourne.
"The greenback was well bid across the board and perhaps the
biggest move was in USD/JPY. This should help resuscitate the
However, the greenback struggled against the euro, which
edged up to a two-week high just shy of $1.3700 before
steadying at $1.3671. The common currency also rallied more than
1 percent on the yen to 142.57.
Another standout currency was the Australian dollar, which
slid nearly 1 percent to $0.8965, reversing a move
towards 91 U.S. cents early in the week.
There has been little conviction to push the Aussie higher
despite a 14-plus percent drop in 2013 as the country's central
bank maintain an easing bias and is encouraging a lower currency
to spur the economy.
Traders said any strength in the Aussie was due more to
investors covering short positions rather than turning bullish
on the currency.
The focus in Asia on Wednesday is likely to be on equities
amid an absence of major market moving data. Among emerging
market currencies, Indian inflation data will be in focus