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Dollar drops to 15-year low against yen

Hong Kong, October 11, 2010

The dollar slid to a 15-year low against the yen and Asian stocks rose on Monday as US jobs data boosted the chances of easier US monetary policy.

Major European stocks opened slightly higher, mirroring gains in Asia and on Wall Street with the FTSEEurofirst 300 0.2 percent in early trade to 1,072.60.   

Finance leaders meeting over the weekend in Washington produced no quick fix for global economic imbalances, suggesting the cheap money trade of selling dollars to buy emerging market assets and commodities looks set to continue for now.

That was further spurred by weaker-than-expected jobs data in the United States on Friday that raised the chances the Federal Reserve would inject fresh funds into the economy as soon as its Nov 2-3 meeting.

'At the end of the day we are going to have QE2 one way or the other and we are going to to have currency rebalancing. The question is how to play this now,' said Geoff Howie, sales and markets strategist at MF Global in Singapore, referring to a second round of quantative easing.

One group that stands to benefit is commodities that stand to gain on the back of rapid growth in developing Asian economies as well as persistent dollar weakness.   

Metals rallied with London copper hitting a fresh 27-month peak while Shanghai zinc futures rose 5 percent to its upside limit of 18.875 yuan a tonne.   

The dollar weakened broadly against a basket of currencies and against the yen fell as far as 81.37 yen, its lowest level in 15 years. It later recovered to 81.99.   

Although Japan is closed for a national holiday on Monday, the dollar's slide put markets on alert for potential intervention by the Bank of Japan, especially since the G7 and the IMF didn't produce any overt criticism of Tokyo's yen selling.   

But with the yen already trading above the levels at which the BOJ intervened last month and the dollar's persistent weakness, any impact from intervention may be short-lived.

'Corporate Japan is just going to have to wake up and deal with a yen at or around 80. No amount of intervention is going to make much difference,' said Howie.   - Reuters




Tags: Dollar | Yen | Asian stocks | economic imbalance |

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