September 26, 2016 / 11:42 AM / 2 years ago

FOREX-Yen gains after Kuroda sticks to negative rate script

* Kuroda comments give no sign of near-term threats to yen

* 100 yen per dollar back in crosshairs

* Focus shifts to U.S. presidential debate

* Trump win might aid U.S. currency, hurt peso, Canadian dollar (Adds more comment, updates prices)

By Patrick Graham

LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The yen was holding strong on Monday in the face of another volley of promises from the Bank of Japan to do everything necessary to get inflation back on the rise, including cutting interest rates further into negative territory.

All eyes will be on the first U.S. presidential debate later, with the chances of a Donald Trump presidency, and the protectionist boost for the dollar many analysts think it might imply, moving to the front of investors’ minds.

But with expectations for a rise in U.S. interest rates in December seen as unlikely to move swiftly higher, a number of major bank analysts believe the dollar could have peaked for now and may suffer, particularly against the yen, in coming weeks.

“The temptation is to say that the dollar should continue to weaken this week,” said Sam Lynton-Brown, a currency strategist with BNP Paribas in London.

“Real yields have pushed much lower and there doesn’t seem the potential for the Fed to move market expectations sharply from where they are — around 55 percent for a hike in December.”

By 1130 GMT, the dollar had fallen 0.6 percent to 100.38 yen . The euro also nudged up 0.2 percent to $1.1250, a bullish Ifo survey from Germany adding to relatively upbeat euro zone surveys on Friday.

Governor Hiruhiko Kuroda’s commitment to use all tools necessary to get inflation back to its 2-percent target did little to shift the conviction among bank analysts that the Bank of Japan is increasingly unable to weaken the yen.

Some traders also pointed to a prediction by Eisuke Sakakibara, known as “Mr. Yen” for his influence on the currency as a top finance ministry official in the 1990s, that the dollar would fall to 90 yen this year.

Sakakibara has long called for a stronger yen and the currency remains far weaker than it was — around 78 yen per dollar — before the launch of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to weaken the yen and reflate the economy in 2012.

“The comments from Mr Yen overnight have had an influence,” said Dominic Bunning, a strategist with HSBC in London.

“That is in line with our view on the yen’s direction. We have it at 95 by the end of the year. If the BOJ doesn’t do something more aggressive its going to go in that direction.”

Analysts say the first of three debates between Trump and Hillary Clinton on Monday has the potential to move the dollar.

“We still see the euro and yen especially appreciating further,” Citi analysts said in a morning note. “The big risk to this view is the upcoming U.S. Election. A Trump presidency would likely be destabilizing for emerging currencies based on his strong views on China, Mexico, and trade policy in general.”

Among the currency majors, Elsa Lignos, a senior strategist with RBC Capital Markets, underlined the exposure of the Canadian dollar to a Trump presidency.

“The outcome of the debate will be watched most closely for the Mexican peso, but we still argue the Canadian dollar is the currency that is really underpriced for US election risk,” she said.

The Canadian dollar, propped up by a recovery in crude oil prices, was still down 0.1 percent on the day at C$1.3176. (Editing by Toby Chopra/Keith Weir)

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