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Friday June 15, 2007 - 09:58:39 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Yen slides to 4-1/2 year low vs dlr, US CPI due

FOREX-Yen slides to 4-1/2 year low vs dlr, US CPI due
Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:50 AM ET

(Updates price, adds quotes, changes byline)

By Toni Vorobyova

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - The yen hit a 4-1/2 year low versus the dollar and a 15-year trough against sterling on Friday after the Bank of Japan left interest rates on hold and gave limited guidance on future tightening.

The dollar was broadly firmer as investors expected U.S. inflation data could boost the view the next move from the Federal Reserve on rates would be up rather than down.

The BOJ left rates at 0.5 percent and Governor Toshihiko Fukui said he had no preconceived idea about a future rate rise, adding that he wanted to be more convinced on the sustainability of domestic capital spending and consumption.

"Fukui was pretty neutral... The market wants to sell the yen and so the news seems to be interpreted in that direction... I think the bias in the yen is still towards weakness," said Steve Barrow, currency strategist at Bear Stearns. He added that risks to his six-month dollar/yen forecast of 129 were to the upside, and forecast euro at 180 yen.

By 0935 GMT, the dollar was up 0.4 percent at 123.45 yen , its highest since December 2002. Technical strategists say from here, the path is fairly clear up to 125.70 yen.

The euro was up 0.5 percent at 164.33 yen , closing in on the record high above 164.60 set earlier in June.

The single currency was steady at $1.3312 , having hit an 11-week low this week.

Both sterling and the Australian dollar hit 15-year highs versus the low-yielding yen.

Rising equity markets contributed to a risk-loving environment, encouraging carry trade investments funded by cheap borrowing in the yen. Continued low FX volatility also helped.

INFLATION, TICS

Rallying U.S. Treasury yields and recent hawkish rhetoric from the Federal Reserve have wiped out expectations for a Fed interest rate cut this year. These expectations had weighed on the dollar for several months.

"As activity data seems to be reasonably constructive and inflationary pressures still the issue for the Fed, it doesn't seem there's any obvious reason for the Fed to (cut)," said Jeremy Stretch, market strategist at Rabobank.

"Certainly for this year ... the Fed is happy just to be able to maintain a steady policy stance." The U.S. inflation data due at 1230 GMT is expected to show that the core consumer price index rose by a moderate 0.2 percent in May from April.

Also due are speeches by Fed officials including chairman Ben Bernanke, U.S. May industrial production figures, June consumer sentiment survey from the University of Michigan, first quarter current account data and April capital flows numbers.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

 

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