April 25, 2014 / 10:52 AM / 4 years ago

FOREX-Yen, Swiss franc advance as Ukraine concerns dominate

* Yen shrugs off Tokyo April CPI

* Euro recovers from low hit on Draghi comments

* Danish crown retreats from near three-month high (Updates prices, adds fresh comment)

By Anirban Nag

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc rose to near one-week highs against a struggling dollar on Friday as deepening concerns about Ukraine outweighed optimism about U.S. economic growth.

The dollar stood at 102.19 yen, not far from Thursday’s one-week low of 102.085 at the end of a lacklustre week against the yen. It was down 0.1 percent against the Swiss franc at 0.8809 francs, having fallen to a one-week low of 0.8802 earlier in the day.

With tensions between Ukraine and Russia high, Ukrainian special forces launched a second phase of their operation in the east of the country on Friday, an official on the presidential staff said. Ukraine’s forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday.

“There has been a slight boost in risk aversion which is supporting the yen,” Credit Agricole FX strategist Manuel Oliveri said.

“But geopolitical risks are not having too much of an impact on currencies with most investors still focused on growth prospects. If risk sentiment improves, the yen will be sold off,” he said.

The yen showed limited reaction to Japanese consumer price data, with core CPI rising 2.7 percent in the Tokyo area, below economists’ forecast of 2.8 percent.

As the impact of a consumption tax hike is estimated to have boosted the reading by 1.7 percentage points, the data suggested inflation has been essentially flat from March, when it rose 1.0 percent. Many investors expect Japan’s inflation to ease later this year, prompting more policy easing from the Bank of Japan.

“As such, this takes us a small step closer to another tranche of BoJ easing, but we still think the BoJ will want to see at least some evidence of the impact on activity as well as prices before acting,” said Adam Cole, head of G10 FX strategy at RBC Capital.

“We expect no policy action at the BoJ meeting next week.”

BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said inflation is firmly on a path to reach its targeted 2.0 percent. His view has somewhat weakened expectations of an immediate easing, helping to support the yen.


Concerns over a wider conflict between the West and Russia overshadowed a brightening economic picture in the United States. March U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.6 percent, above economists’ forecast of 2 percent.

The euro inched up to $1.3845, having recovered from Thursday’s low of $1.3791 hit after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated the potential for asset purchases to ward off deflation risks. He warned that a rising euro could force the ECB’s hand on monetary policy measures.

In the European session, volumes in euro/Danish crown trades picked up for a second day, according to Reuters Matching. The euro recovered from a near three-month low against the crown of 7.4614 to trade at 7.4647 crowns.

The crown had soared after the Danish central bank surprised the market by raising the rate on certificate of deposits and ending a regime of negative interest rates in a bid to stem outflows and support the currency. (Additional reporting by Masayuki Kitano in Singapore; Editing by Louise Ireland, John Stonestreet)

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