The growing uncertainty clouding Europe’s ability to fix its financial mess has helped send safe-haven investors into the Japanese yen and pushed the currency to a new post-World War II high against the greenback.
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSEArca: FXY) rose fractionally on Tuesday to a fresh 52-week high. The exchange traded fund profits when the yen strengthens versus the U.S. dollar.
After news that a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers was called off, investors quickly turned to a risk-off mentality, WSJ.com reports.
However, the traditional safe-haven U.S. dollar was kept depressed on weak U.S. housing and consumer-confidence data, which boosted speculation of another quantitative easing plan from the Federal Reserve to boost the economy. Consequently the Japanese yen picked up the slack, appreciating to a new high of ¥75.73 to the U.S. dollar. [Japanese Yen’s Spike to Record Against Dollar Lifts Currency ETFs]
“You’re seeing a general flight-to-quality, risk-off type of sentiment, and the yen is a frequent recipient of those moves,” Carl Forcheski, a director on the corporate currency sales desk at Societe Generale SA, said in a Bloomberg report. “The market is watching the events in Europe.”
According to Nikkei, the Bank of Japan will be discussing monetary easing measures at a policy board meeting Thursday due to the rising strength of the Japanese yen.