Yen Hits 9-Month low ahead of Election

Europe

The euro rose to a one-week high after the currency bloc’s finance ministers approved 49.1 billion-euro of rescue payments to Greece yesterday. The 17-nation currency added 0.2% to $1.3106 after reaching $1.3115, the most since Dec. 5. The euro also rose to an eight-month high of 109.63 yen and is on track to end the week almost 3% higher on the yen.

North America

The Dollar Index (DXY), which tracks the greenback against currencies of six U.S. trading partners, slid 0.2% to 79.782. The dollar bought 83.85 yen, up 0.3% from late U.S. levels, having risen as high as 83.95, within sight of its March peak of 84.187.

Around the world

The Japanese currency hits a 9-month low over concern of the coming election. The yen touched 83.96 per dollar, the lowest level since March 21, before trading at 83.78, down 0.2% from yesterday. It declined 0.4% to 109.80 per euro after touching 109.98, the weakest since April 2. This week, the Japanese currency has lost 1.5% and 2.9% versus the greenback and the euro respectively.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar rose, erasing earlier losses, after a private report showed Chinese manufacturing may expand at a faster pace, boosting trade prospects. The so-called Aussie climbed to a nine-month high against the yen, while the kiwi reached the strongest level since October 2008 versus Japan’s currency on speculation the country’s elections this weekend will lead to a government that will increase pressure on the Bank of Japan (8301) to expand monetary stimulus. The Aussie was up 0.1% to $1.0544, after earlier sliding as much as 0.2%. It’s set for a 0.5% weekly gain, having touched $1.0586 on Dec. 12, the strongest since Sept. 14. It climbed 0.4% to 88.45 yen, after touching 88.47, the highest since March 20.

The New Zealand dollar is headed for a 3.1% gain against the yen this week, as Japanese prepare to go to the polls in an election that is expected to install a new government that backs unlimited monetary easing. The kiwi traded at 70.75 yen from 70.52 yen yesterday. The currency was little changed at 84.34 US cents from 84.23 cents this morning and down from 84.40 cents yesterday. It is still heading to a 1.4% weekly gain against the greenback. The currency edged up to 80.07 Australian cents from 80 cents yesterday and traded at 64.45 euro cents from 64.52 cents.

GBP/EUR 1.23077

GBP/USD 1.61327

GBP/JPY 134.946

EUR/USD 1.31078

EUR/JPY 109.643

USD/AUD 0.94756

USD/CAD 0.98341

USD/NZD 1.18372