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FOREX-Dollar bounces back near 14-year peak, yen slips after BOJ
December 20, 2016 / 6:59 AM / a year ago

FOREX-Dollar bounces back near 14-year peak, yen slips after BOJ

* Yellen’s upbeat comments support dollar

* Yen slips after BOJ keeps policy on hold

* Yen, franc see some flight-to-quality bids on security worries

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - The dollar was bouncing back towards its 14-year high against a basket of major currencies on Tuesday as the yen quickly gave up some of its gains following deadly incidents in Turkey and Germany.

The U.S. dollar remained well-bid against many other currencies, with its index rising back to 103.36 from Monday’s low of 102.52, coming within sight of its 14-year peak of 103.56 touched on Thursday.

The dollar was helped in part by upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the U.S. jobs market.

Expectations that the incoming Trump Administration’s planned tax cuts and fiscal spending could lead to higher U.S. growth and inflation has lifted U.S. bond yields and the dollar since last month.

“The dollar is rising on expectations of Trump’s policies and I think the rally will continue as long as there are uncertain elements to his policies,” said Kazushige Kaida, head of foreign exchange at State Street.

“But markets are starting to take it as a fact, and that suggests the dollar’s rising cycle is coming near an end. Those who got on the bus first will be starting to get off,” he added.

The euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.0382, extending its 0.5 percent fall on Monday and edging near its Dec. 15 low of $1.03665, its weakest level since January 2003.

The British pound also dipped to $1.2355 on Monday, its lowest in about a month and last stood at $1.2383.

The Australian dollar fell to 6-1/2-month lows of $0.7240, turning negative for the year.

The dollar also rose to 117.75 yen, quickly recovering from Monday’s low of 116.55 yen as fresh buying emerged after the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged at its meeting ending on Tuesday.

The BOJ affirmed its twin targets of minus 0.10 percent interest on some excess reserves and the zero percent 10-year government bond yield.

Although that outcome was widely expected, the move appeared to set it apart from other major central banks that are scaling back stimulus.

The dollar’s underlying strength overwhelmed flight-to-quality buying in the yen and the Swiss franc following two separate deadly incidents in Turkey and Germany that raised security worries in the West.

Investors were rattled after the Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead by an off-duty police officer as the diplomat gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery.

Security fears deepened on news that a truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12 people, evoking memories of an attack in Nice, France, in July, in which 86 people were killed.

The safe-haven Swiss franc hit a six-month high of 1.0680 per euro on Monday and last stood at 1.0684.

The Turkish lira dropped slightly to 3.5325 to the dollar, but it held above its record low of 3.6000 set earlier this month, ahead of its central bank policy announcement later in the day. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Eric Meijer)

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