Risk-sensitive currencies slipped from multi-month highs on Thursday after their rally on strong raw material prices was sideswiped by sudden selling against the Japanese yen, in what traders described as inevitable profit-taking after a long rally. The Australian dollar dropped 0.2% against the U.S. dollar. Earlier in the day, the Aussie reached a 3 1/2 – month high of $0.75465.
It also fell against the yen. The Aussie fell 0.5% to 85.58 yen after hitting a near four-year high of 86.25.
Let’s get back to traders. They saw no clear trigger for the move. But some of them mentioned unsubstantiated speculation that China Evergrande could make an announcement soon as it battles with the possibility of default. The company abandoned plans to sell a $2.6 billion stake in one of its key units on Wednesday.
The New Zealand dollar also suffered losses against the yen. It dropped 0.3% to 82.04 yen.
The U.S. currency dropped 0.2% versus the yen to 114.12 yen, veering off its four-year peak of 114.695 hit on Wednesday. Currently, there are a lot of talks that a cheaper yen is hurting the country’s economy. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will hold its policy meeting on October 27-28.
U.S. dollar and European currencies
The euro traded flat at $1.1664. The single currency was close to Tuesday’s three-week peak of $1.1670.
The British pound fell 0.1% to $1.3807 but was supported on firming expectations the central bank will raise interest rates in the near future to curb inflation, despite softer-than-expected U.K. price data on Wednesday.
Against the euro, the British pound was near its highest levels since February 2020, at 84.33 pence per euro.
The dollar index stood at 93.612. It was not far from Tuesday’s three-week low of 93.601. The index dropped 1.1% from a 15-month peak hit last week.
The Federal Reserve is expected to announce tapering of its bond purchase in early November. However, analysts expect the Fed to distance itself from future rate hikes for now.
Investors and analysts are closely monitoring the U.S. labor market. The world’s largest economy will release weekly jobless claims data on Thursday.
We should not forget about the Central Bank of Turkey’s meeting. The Turkish lira declined to all-time lows after the country’s president fired the only policymakers to resist a course that is failing to keep inflation under control.