FOREX-Dollar rises versus yen in volatile trade
Wed Aug 1, 2007 4:35PM EDT
(Adds comments, updates prices)
By Vivianne Rodrigues
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The dollar rose versus the yen on Wednesday in volatile trading, tracking a sharp rebound in U.S. equities late in the session.
Global financial markets have been pounded over the past month by a wave of risk aversion sparked by worries over the state of credit markets worldwide. Troubles started in the high-risk U.S. subprime mortgage sector, and investors fear it may spread and affect credit markets globally.
The rebound in equities prompted investors to resume selling yen in so-called carry trades, in which the Japanese currency is used to fund purchases of higher yielding assets.
"The dollar is slightly higher, but still following the wild swings in the stock market," said Mark Meadows, a market analyst at Tempus Consulting in Washington, D.C. "We will need extremely strong data, or strong reassurance about the credit markets, to lift stocks and support the dollar and carry trades."
Equities and carry trade currency pairs such as euro/yen and dollar/yen have risen and fallen together in recent sessions due to the perception of relatively high risk that each investment holds. In carry trades, investors borrow in a low-yielding currency to invest in higher-yielding assets.
In late afternoon trading, the dollar reversed losses to stand 0.4 percent higher on the day at 118.85 yen <JPY=EBS>, more than a yen above the session low of 117.60, the lowest since April, according to electronic trading platform EBS. The euro was up 0.3 percent buying 162.38 yen <EURJPY=EBS>.
Markets earlier showed little reaction to data from the Institute for Supply Management that showed a key manufacturing index was lower than expected.
The dollar, however, initially slid against the euro after a report showing the U.S. economy added just 48,000 private sector jobs in July, way below the median forecast of 100,000. The euro <EUR=> was little changed against the dollar at $1.3666.
The report put out by ADP Employer Services suggested Friday's closely watched Labor Department payrolls data may come in lower than expectations.
"The ADP report was a bit disconcerting," said Meadows at Tempus. "But if on Friday we see a better number, we might see the dollar gaining some support."
The Labor Department is expected to report the U.S. economy likely added 130,000 jobs in July, according to a Reuters poll. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT).
Over the past few sessions, investors have paid little attention to U.S. economic data as they focused on developments in the U.S. credit and housing markets.
News reports that U.S. mortgage lender American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. (AHM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and two Australian funds were the latest casualties in the currency global credit crisis, for instance, had pushed the yen to multi-month highs earlier.
"We have a skittish market and investors are taking their cue from the stock and credit markets," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities in Toronto. "But we should see more pressure on carry trades -- euro/yen, dollar/yen and the high-yielding currencies."
The fall in U.S. shares on Tuesday, after American Home Mortgage Investment said it could not fund home loans and might have to liquidate assets, battered European equities on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York)
Â© Reuters 2006. 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.
Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests