The Yen suffered its biggest one-day percentage decline against the Euro in more than 3 years and the Dollar in more than 2 years on Wednesday, as investors took recovering US stock markets as a cue to slash short-term bets that the Japanese currency would strengthen. Foreign exchange dealers have been using global equity markets as a gauge of risk appetite, particularly because the tightening credit market has lifted volatility and slowed the carry trade, in which investors borrow in low-yielding currencies such as Yen to buy higher-yielding, riskier assets.
The yen had climbed sharply Tuesday in tandem with tumbling global stocks, as traders cut back carry trade bets on greater apprehension of the fallout from the US sub-prime mortgage meltdown.
However, on Wednesday, UsdJpy rose 1.51% percent to 115.70, rebounding from a one-week low of 113.86 earlier in the session, as US stock indexes climbed after falling more than 2 percent on Tuesday.
EurJpy climbed 2.22% to 158.17 and EurUsd rose 0.67% to 1.3669.
The Euro gain on the Yen so far on the day was the biggest since March 2004. GbpUsd climbed 0.83% to 2.0151 and GbpJpy went up 2.35% to 233.14.
Earlier in the week, soft data from the US housing and consumer sectors and news of more financial institutions being affected by troubles in the US sub-prime mortgage sector led to a broad sell-off in risky assets earlier in the week. But on Wednesday investors cashed in on the Yen's two-day rally, helped by the solid rise in Wall Street stocks, despite more signs of difficult credit conditions in short-term money markets.
Caution is still the word on most analysts' lips, particularly as dealers wondered whether tough lending conditions would prompt easing in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
US economic growth data on Thursday and inflation figures on Friday could give investors a clearer picture on how the recent market turbulence might have affected the real economy, ahead of the keenly watched payrolls report the following week.
Speculation is rising that the Fed might cut the benchmark federal funds rate from 5.25% at its next meeting in September, although the central bank maintained its focus on inflationary risks in its August minutes. How Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke characterizes the surge in financial market volatility of the last month in a speech on Friday could very well determine the outlook for risk taking.