Thursday August 20, 2009 - 10:02:50 GMT
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Reuters - www.reuters.com
FOREX NEWS-Yen slides, high-yielding FX up as stocks gain
Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:42am EDT
* Yen slides, higher-risk currencies up as stocks recover
* European shares up 1.4 pct after Shanghai rallies 4.5 pct
* Traders remain cautious on risk in holiday-thinned markets (Adds comment, details, updates prices)
By Naomi Tajitsu
LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The yen slipped on Thursday, while higher-yielding currencies crept up as a recovery in global shares and oil prices stoked some risk appetite in summer holiday-thinned trade. Chinese shares stormed higher, clawing back from a sell-off in the past two weeks and helping to prod European shares up in early trade. This calmed risk aversion to the detriment of the Japanese currency, which tends to flourish when demand for higher-risk assets falls.
"We had a comeback in equities in Asia overnight ... that has eased some of the tensions that have seen the yen in particular do well," said Chris Gothard, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in London.
Still, he added that gains in currencies considered to be higher-risk including the Australian and New Zealand dollars have been limited, as traders needed further convincing that the risk rally in past months is sustainable.
By 0904 GMT, the yen was down across the board, taking the dollar JPY= up 0.3 percent on the day to 94.38 yen. It recovered from a one-month low of 93.66 yen hit on Wednesday.
The high-yielding Australian and New Zealand currencies each rose around 0.5 percent against the yen, while edging up around 0.2 percent against the dollar.
The euro EUR= was little changed on the day at $1.4220.
Currency traders took cues from a 4.5 percent gain in the Shanghai index .SSEC on Thursday, which helped to pull European shares up 1.3 percent in early European trade.
Market participants have been focusing on Shanghai stocks to try to gauge how well China can support economic recovery elsewhere. The stock market has shed nearly 20 percent in the past two weeks, sparking speculation whether this signals more economic trouble. [ID:nSP493073].
Oil prices CLc1 were slightly lower on the day at $72.25 per barrel on Thursday, but they held most gains following a 4.6 percent surge on Wednesday. Some analysts said firmer oil prices would boost higher-risk currencies, while keeping the dollar on the back foot.
"The most reliable relationship in recent months has been that strong oil prices are associated with a weak USD, and we expect that to remain the case," analysts at Barclays wrote in a research note.
"Our commodity analysts suspect that the general tightening trend (in oil prices) has a chance of staying in that focus in coming weeks. If so, it would likely put downwards pressure on the USD."
Despite the rally in oil and stocks on Thursday, markets were reminded of the world economic weakness as a Bank of Japan policymaker warned that global growth remains fragile, which could hit the country's export recovery.
BOJ board member Atsushi Mizuno added that there was little the central bank could do to push up prices in the short term, while suggesting he may favour keeping the central bank's unconventional policy steps to help the economy in place beyond December. [ID:nT169364] (Editing by David Stamp)
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