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PIG TODAY-Dollar drifts lower against major crosses

The dollar was moderately lower against the yen and the euro in an otherwise quiet Asian session on Wednesday, with investors taking profits on recent gains in the U.S. currency.

The U.S. currency USDJPY, -0.27% was changing hands at ¥117.67, compared with ¥117.88 late Tuesday in New York.

The WSJ Dollar Index BUXX, -0.13% , a measure of the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, was down 0.11% at 93.26. With short covering kicking in, the euro EURUSD, +0.2022% gained to $1.0408 from $1.0388 late Tuesday after touching a fresh multi-year low of $1.0352, its lowest level since January 2003.

Investors moved to lock in profits after scooping up the U.S. currency against the yen Tuesday after comments from the Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda.

After the BOJ decision to keep its monetary policy unchanged, Kuroda said at a press conference Tuesday that he doesn’t think the yen had weakened to a level that should surprise anyone, adding that the yen’s recent weakness is better explained as a rise in the dollar against a broad range of currencies.

“Everybody is saying that the yen is very weak, but it is only back at where it was in February,” Kuroda said.

“The dollar broke above the ¥118-threshold again today. But people didn’t join the buying to seek further upside as seen yesterday, prompting profit taking among investors ahead of the Christmas holiday,” said Yuzo Sakai, manager of FX business promotion at Tokyo Forex and Ueda Harlow.

The dollar’s upside toward ¥118.66, its 10-month high set on Dec. 15, appears close, but is actually still some distance off, said Takuya Kanda, senior researcher at Gaitame.Com Research Institute in a note.

Another rise in U.S. long-term rates is “indispensable” for the dollar to reach a fresh high above ¥118.66, he said. However, the tempo of U.S. Treasury yield rises has been slowing, curbing the dollar’s upside. Both U.S. Treasurys and the currency market are set to lose momentum as the year-end holiday season approaches, he said.

In other currency trades, the euro EURJPY, -0.07% was at ¥122.44 from ¥122.37 late Tuesday.

Source: marketwatch.com

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