Yen resumes fall after G20, U.S. holiday thins trade

Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:54am EST
 
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By Richard Hubbard

LONDON (Reuters) - The yen resumed falling on Monday after Japan signaled it would push ahead with expansionist monetary policies having escaped criticism from the world's 20 biggest economies at the weekend.

Industrial metals also dipped and European shares were soft on lingering worries about the economic outlook, especially for the euro zone. While the risk of an inconclusive outcome in Italy's forthcoming election added to investor concerns.

However, activity was curtailed by the closure of markets in the United States for the Presidents' Day holiday.

The yen, which has dropped 20 percent against the dollar since mid-November, fell further after financial leaders from the G20 promised not to devalue their currencies to boost exports and avoided singling out Japan for any direct criticism.

The dollar rose 0.5 percent to 93.95 yen, near a 33-month peak of 94.47 yen set a week ago. The euro added 0.3 percent to 125.40 yen, to be midway between Friday's two-week low of 122.90 and a 34-month high of 127.71 yen hit earlier this month. <FRX/>

Strategists said the yen was likely to stay weak, though its decline could lose momentum until it becomes clear who will be taking the helm at the Bank of Japan when the current governor steps down on March 19.

"The yen probably will weaken a little further in anticipation of more aggressive easing under a new leadership team at the Bank of Japan," said Julian Jessop, chief global economist at Capital Economics.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is poised to nominate the new governor in the next few days. Sources have told Reuters that former financial bureaucrat Toshiro Muto, considered likely to be less radical than other candidates, was leading the field.   Continued...

 
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange January 4, 2013. REUTERS/Remote/Joachim Herrmann