Dollar weakens vs. yen as investors turn cautious

Tue Jun 6, 2017 4:10pm EDT
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By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar weakened to a more than six-week low against the yen on Tuesday, dipping below a key technical level as Treasury debt yields slipped on increased caution ahead of a trio of potentially market moving events on Thursday.

Nervous investors piled into low-risk bonds and other safe-haven assets on worries linked to Britain's general election, the European Central Bank's policy meeting and former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a Senate panel, all scheduled for Thursday.

"I think there's a lot of anxiety ahead of Thursday's events," said Alfonso Esparza, senior currency analyst at OANDA in Toronto.

The dollar was down 0.92 percent against the yen JPY= at 109.43 yen, having broken below its 200-day moving average to touch 109.23 yen, its lowest since April 21.

"It's safe-haven (demand) as well as the technical break that's driving dollar-yen," said Brad Bechtel, managing director FX at Jefferies in New York.

Comey, fired by President Donald Trump in May, will be grilled by the Senate Intelligence Committee on whether Trump tried to get him to back off an investigation of alleged ties between his 2016 campaign and Russia.

Worries about the situation have added to market doubts over the Trump administration's ability to deliver a promised boost to growth and recently weighed on the dollar.

The greenback could weaken to as low as 106 yen ahead of Thursday's testimony, Esparza said. The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against six major rivals, was down 0.24 percent at 96.567.   Continued...

U.S. Dollar and Japan Yen notes are seen in this picture illustration June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration