* Yen skids across the board after LDP victory
* Markets expect BOJ to ease policy at this week's meeting
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, Dec 17 The yen slumped to its lowest in
over a year-and-a-half against the U.S. dollar on Monday as part
of a broad skid after Japan's conservative LDP party, pledged to
hyper-easy monetary policy, won a landslide victory at an
The dollar rose as far as 84.48 yen, reaching its
highest since April 2011, from around 83.50 late in New York on
Friday. The euro jumped to around 111.30 yen from
The higher-yielding Australian dollar climbed
above 89.00 yen for the first time since May 2011.
Japan's conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) surged
back to power in an election on Sunday, giving ex-Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe a chance to push his radical economic recipe.
Abe has called for "unlimited" monetary easing and big
spending on public works to rescue the economy from its fourth
recession since 2000.
The Bank of Japan meets later this week and analysts expect
the central bank will ease policy further.
Investors had already turned bearish on the yen in the weeks
leading up to the election. Data from the Commodity Futures
Trading Commission released Friday showed short yen positions
had risen to the highest in over five years.
Analysts at BNP Paribas warned the yen may be poised for a
bounce back soon.
"Our view is that PM Abe is unlikely to sound as aggressive
as he came across as the leader of the opposition. We also
believe markets are putting too much emphasis on the BoJ policy
and too little on the Fed's, especially after the latter fully
delivered last week," strategist Vassili Serebriakov wrote in a
At its policy meeting last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve
announced a new round of monetary stimulus and took the
unprecedented step of indicating interest rates would remain
near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent, a
long way from the 7.7 percent currently.
The CFTC data also showed currency speculators have turned
bearish in the U.S. dollar for the first time since late
That has helped underpin the euro, which was around $1.3167
in early Asian trade, versus $1.3154 late in New York
Friday. The single currency was on track to test its 2012 peak
around $1.3486 set in February.