* Japan delays naming next BOJ governor, friction seen
* Markets have heard the talk, now want to see BOJ action
* Euro rises in the wake of upbeat German ZEW survey
* RBNZ Governor says NZ dollar is significantly overvalued
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Feb 20 The yen edged higher versus
the dollar on Wednesday due to uncertainty over how aggressively
Japan will ease monetary policy following signs of a rift among
Japanese officials over the strategy.
Market players said the yen's recent decline may slow in the
near term, due partly to doubts whether an idea will be adopted
for the Bank of Japan to buy foreign bonds to provide monetary
In addition, analysts said Japanese policymakers may become
more cautious when talking about the yen, following a meeting of
G20 policymakers in Moscow at the weekend.
"I think the pace of yen depreciation will slow," said Sim
Moh Siong, FX strategist for Bank of Singapore.
"In light of the G20 statement to avoid competitive
devaluation, it will be difficult to talk down the yen
specifically. I think the onus now is on policy to do the work,"
While the G20 meeting had not singled out Tokyo as
manipulating currencies to gain a competitive edge, the G20 also
said its members would refrain from competitive devaluation.
The dollar slipped 0.1 percent to 93.55 yen, staying
below a 33-month high of 94.465 yen set on Feb. 11 on trading
"I think there will be some range trading for a while," said
Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore, adding that the dollar
hold between 92.50 and 95.50 yen over the next couple of weeks.
The greenback had firmed against the yen earlier in the week
after Japan escaped direct criticism from its G20 peers on its
bold relfationary plans.
But the dollar faltered versus the yen on Tuesday after
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said he was not considering
buying foreign bonds as part of efforts to ease monetary policy.
Aso's comments had come a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
said this was an option.
Market players are also waiting for more clarity on the
government's choice for the next Bank of Japan governor to
replace Masaaki Shirakawa.
A delay in nominating a new BOJ governor has fanned talk of
friction between Japan's prime minister and finance minister
over who should run a central bank charged with taking
aggressive action to beat deflation.
The prime minister earlier had been expected to make a
nomination this week, but Economics Minister Akira Amari said on
Tuesday the government would not nominate a governor until after
Abe returns from a trip to the United States on Feb. 21-24.
EURO RISES; KIWI SLIDES
The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.3413, gaining a boost
after data on Tuesday showed a strong improvement in German
The ZEW index rose to its highest since April 2010, beating
even the highest forecast in a Reuters poll.
Against the yen, the euro edged up 0.1 percent to 125.39 yen
. The single currency had climbed to 127.71 yen on
Feb. 6, its strongest level versus the Japanese currency since
The New Zealand dollar slid 0.8 percent to $0.8404
after Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) Governor Graeme Wheeler
said the New Zealand dollar was significantly overvalued
compared to its economic fundamentals.
Wheeler also said RBNZ was ready to intervene in FX markets
when circumstances were right.
The kiwi had climbed to $0.8534 on Friday, its strongest
level since September 2011.