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Thursday November 15, 2007 - 11:52:54 GMT
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FOREX NEWS-Yen up as market jitters prompt flight to safety

Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:39am EST

(Recasts, changes byline, updates prices, adds quotes)

By Simon Falush

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The yen rose versus the euro and dollar on Thursday and high yielding currencies dipped as concerns about the effects of the credit crunch and falling equity markets led investors to pare back risky carry trades.

The Japanese currency extended gains as weaker Asian stock markets were followed by a slide in European equities and by futures pointing to a lower open on Wall Street, which led investors to sell high yielding currencies in favour of safe haven assets.

"The fog has not yet cleared on the effects from recent market turbulence. There is a continued environment of uncertainty and this is being felt in the FX market," said Phyllis Papadavid, currency strategist at Societe Generale.

"The yen has shown a strong correlation with risk appetite and to the degree that there is risk aversion it will outperform its G10 counterparts."

At 1108 GMT the dollar was down 0.75 percent on the day at 110.59 yen <JPY=>, moving back towards 18-month lows of 109.10 yen set earlier this week.

The euro was down 1 percent at 161.64 yen <EURJPY=>.

The dollar, which is under pressure due to expectations of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, was down 0.25 percent versus the euro at $1.4620 <EUR=>, in sight of last week's record high of $1.4752, according to Reuters data.

The outlook for interest rates in the United States may become clearer later in the session with the release of October U.S. inflation data at 1330 GMT.

Underlying U.S. consumer prices excluding food and energy are expected to have risen 0.2 percent last month, the same pace of increase as in September.

Financial markets are still pricing in more interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve, discounting a three in four chance of a 25 basis point cut next month.


The high yielding Australian dollar fell 0.6 percent <AUD=> against the greenback and the New Zealand dollar fell 0.9 percent <NZD=>. The pound fell to a three-week low against the dollar, hit by an unexpected fall in retail sales data <GBP=>.

These high yielders could see further losses as a result of hedge fund withdrawals according to some analysts.

Investors have to give 45 days' notice if they want to withdraw cash from hedge funds which means that those who want to close their positions by year-end have to say so now.

"Clients may take some money off the table as was the case in Q3 when Aug. 15 was marked with massive selling across all equity indices," said Ashraf Laidi, chief FX analyst at CMC Markets U.S. "In this case we expect renewed rallies in the yen crosses and for the Aussie, kiwi and loonie to come under pressure."

In a sign of the continuing impact of turmoil in U.S. credit markets, General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday its short-term bond fund ran into trouble amid losses on asset-backed securities and all its outside investors have liquidated their holdings. [ID:nN14246316]

British bank Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday said its investment banking arm made a $2.7 billion writedown due to its credit market exposure, but that broadly cheered investors, some of whom had expected heftier losses of up to $10 billion. [ID:nL15267122]

(Editing by Gerrard Raven)

© 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.


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