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FOREX-Yen slumps to 20-mth low following LDP victory
December 16, 2012 / 9:46 PM / 5 years ago

FOREX-Yen slumps to 20-mth low following LDP victory

* 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 (Reuters) - 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 election.

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 109.81.

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 report.

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 October.

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.

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