Dollar Climbs 24-Year Peak Against the Yen

The dollar rose to a 24-year high against the Japanese yen on Monday, as Tokyo’s ruling conservative coalition’s strong poll result signalled no change in lax monetary policy, despite global growth concerns.

The U.S dollar rose to 137.28 yen in morning trading, its best since late 1998, before easing somewhat. It closed up 0.6 per cent at 136.93. The dollar was also stronger against the euro, which fell 0.38 per cent to $1.0144, returning to a 20-year intraday low set on Friday, leaving the dollar index up 0.4 per cent at 107.3.

The Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) policy of keeping Japanese rates pinned down to support the economy. It combined with rising US interest rates, has been a major factor in the Japanese currency’s recent weakness.

High inflation – by Japanese standards, if not global standards – had led to some public pressure on policymakers to change course.

The US 10-year yield was last at 3.087 per cent after rallying the previous week. Away from Japan, concerns about the global growth prospects, particularly as central banks seek to rein in spiralling inflation, were driving flows to safe-haven assets.

The (dollar) could remain costly under pressure from rising global inflation, European energy security, and China’s development prospects.

Markets would likely perceive a high number as a warning that the US Federal Reserve will need to raise rates even more aggressively to battle inflation.

The largest single pipeline supplying Russian gas to Germany begins annual maintenance on Monday, adding to the European economy’s concerns. Flows should stop for 10 days. However, governments, markets, and businesses are concerned that the embargo may be extended owing to the conflict in Ukraine.

On Monday morning, the sterling was down 0.38 per cent against the strengthening dollar. It traded at $1.1986, having ended a turbulent week not far from where it began.

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