December 28, 2018 / 2:49 PM / 20 days ago

FOREX-Yen jumps as investors stay cautious amid volatile stock moves

    * Safe havens Japanese yen, Swiss franc outperform
    * Dollar dips as stocks continue rally

 (New throughout; updates prices, market activity and comments
to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous
LONDON)
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The Japanese yen jumped on
Friday as investors sought protection against volatile stock
moves, while the greenback dipped as stocks traded higher after
a dramatic week capped by large price swings. 
    The benchmark S&P 500 tested its 20-month low early
in the week and was at the brink of bear market territory before
the three main indexes roared back with their biggest daily
surge in nearly a decade on Wednesday and a late rally on
Thursday.
    The yen gained despite higher stocks, soft domestic data and
a decline in benchmark Japanese bond yields, which fell back
into negative territory for the first time in more than a year.

    “That suggests that there’s still demand for some insurance
against extended volatility over the holiday period that’s
keeping the yen better supported,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX
strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto.
    The Japanese currency was last up 0.66 percent against the
greenback at 110.26 yen. Another safe-haven currency, the Swiss
franc, also jumped 0.82 percent to 0.9794. 
    "Markets are a bit more cautious on risk appetite, with the
Japanese yen and the Swiss franc gaining," said Lee Hardman, an
FX strategist at MUFG in London.
    The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback against a basket
of six major currencies, fell 0.22 percent to 96.265.
    The U.S. currency has been hurt in recent weeks by rising
expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause its tightening
cycle sooner than expected, or risk harming the U.S. economy
with further interest rate increases.
    A partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government, trade
tensions between the United States and China and complications
relating to Britain’s exit from the European Union are also
keeping investors cautious.
    “There’s still a lot of potential risk and uncertainty out
there,” said Osborne.
    Both chambers of the U.S. Congress convened for only a few
minutes late on Thursday, but took no steps to end the partial
federal government shutdown before adjourning until next week.

    
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    Currency bid prices at 9:34AM (1434 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1461        $1.1429     +0.28%         -4.46%      +1.1476     +1.1424
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.2600       110.9900    -0.66%         -2.13%      +111.0400   +110.2300
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     126.44         126.89      -0.35%         -6.46%      +127.0300   +126.3100
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9794         0.9875      -0.82%         +0.52%      +0.9886     +0.9791
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2688         1.2642      +0.36%         -6.10%      +1.2702     +1.2635
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3630         1.3616      +0.10%         +8.38%      +1.3647     +1.3592
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7050         0.7033      +0.24%         -9.63%      +0.7069     +0.7028
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1226         1.1289      -0.56%         -3.96%      +1.1302     +1.1215
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9032         0.9039      -0.08%         +1.68%      +0.9061     +0.9024
 NZ               NZD=        0.6699         0.6702      -0.04%         -5.43%      +0.6720     +0.6695
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.6922         8.7680      -0.86%         +5.91%      +8.7716     +8.6826
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.9645         10.0245     -0.60%         +1.18%      +10.0440    +9.9534
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.9515         9.0069      -0.37%         +9.14%      +9.0144     +8.9389
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.2620        10.2996     -0.37%         +4.30%      +10.3120    +10.2410
 
  
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