Yen down and pound sinks in Asia
AFPTOKYO--The yen sank in Asia Monday on expectations Japan would appoint a new central bank chief in favor of even looser monetary policy, as the pound fell after Britain lost its AAA credit rating for the first time.
February 26, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
The pound at one point fell to US$1.5072 — its lowest since July 2010 — after Moody's on Friday said it had stripped London of its coveted rating, citing weak growth and rising debt.
The British unit picked up a tad to buy US$1.5126 in the afternoon Monday, but well down from US$1.5250 before the announcement.
“The pound has fallen through the crucial support line of US$1.52,” said Yusuke Fujishima, manager of Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking's currency sales department.
“I'm bearish towards the pound in principle ... It may have entered a downtrend that could bring it towards the recent low of US$1.4231 hit in May in 2010,” he added.
In afternoon Tokyo trade, the dollar bought 94.18 yen, from 93.37 yen in New York late Friday, while the euro sat at 124.24 yen from 123.18 yen.
The European single currency bought US$1.3197 against US$1.3189 as markets look to the results of Italian elections expected later in the day.
The yen has seen a steep decline in recent months, stoking criticism abroad, particularly in Europe, that Tokyo was engineering the fall to help its exporters. Japanese officials denied the claims.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to SG$1.2390 Monday afternoon from SG$1.2380 Friday and to 1,086.96 South Korean won from 1,084.68 won.
It also rose to 29.84 Thai baht from 29.82 baht and to 9,709 Indonesian rupiah from 9,708 rupiah but fell to 40.71 Philippine pesos from 40.72 pesos and to 54.08 Indian rupees 54.45 rupees.
The Australian dollar fell to US$1.0281 from US$1.0313 while the Chinese yuan changed hands at 15.09 yen against 14.96 yen.