Dollar hits seven-week high against yen

TOKYO - The dollar hit a seven-week high against the yen in Asia on Wednesday but slipped against the euro as traders bet that eurozone interest rates will stay at a seven-year high this week to fight inflation.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 6 Aug 2008, 2:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:49 AM

The dollar rose to 108.44 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 108.36 in New York late on Tuesday. At one point it touched 108.48.

‘The markets are in the middle of unwinding assets that were once considered a hedge against dollar weakness,’ including high-yielding currencies, Brown Brothers Harriman trader Takeshi Iba told Dow Jones Newswires.

‘Unless something significantly negative suddenly happens in the US, we're likely to see the market trend of dollar buybacks continue.’

The euro gained to 1.5500 dollars from 1.5454 and to 168.06 yen from 167.46.

Markets expect the ECB to keep its interest rates unchanged at 4.25 percent on Thursday as it weighs concerns about both inflation and weak economic growth.

‘Investors are waiting to see whether the ECB will recognise the downside risks to growth... or continue to focus on inflation,’ said Resona Bank analyst Shigeru Nakane.

If the ECB softens its anti-inflation rhetoric or highlights risks to economic growth, that could signal the central bank is set to hold off hiking rates in the near term, he said.

The Bank of England is also expected to stand pat on Thursday, although analysts see a small chance of a rate hike to try to contain inflation.

On Tuesday the Fed kept its key rate at 2.0 percent and noted continued risks to growth.

‘We continue to think the Fed is in no hurry to act,’ said NAB Capital analyst Robert Henderson who thinks US rates will be left on hold ‘well into 2009 and then increase only moderately.’

Against Asian currencies, the dollar fell to 1,015.85 South Korean won from 1,017.75 on Tuesday, to 9,068.00 Indonesian rupiah from 9,077.00 and to 43.81 Philippine pesos from 44.13.

It rose to 1.3772 Singapore dollars from 1.3742 and to 30.79 Taiwan dollars from 30.75, while holding steady at 33.63 Thai baht.

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