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John Naronha

Why is the Japanese yen gaining against the major currencies this week?

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The Japanese markets opened on Tuesday following the 10-day Golden holidays and since then the yen is extending its gains versus the greenback, euro and the sterling, with investors heading to the safe-haven currency amid concerns of an escalation in the US-China trade conflict.

The Japanese currency is broadly considered a risk-averse instrument and attracts buying during market turmoil and political uncertainty and with global equity markets retreating this week after US President Trump’s tweets that Washington would increase tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods from Friday, safe-haven investments like the Japanese yen and Government bonds are rising, driving yields sharply lower.

Against the US dollar, the yen was trading at 109.88 on Thursday, rising to the highest since March 25th while against the euro, the Asian currency rose the most since January 4th and the GBPJPY pair was last seen trading close to 3-month lows of 144.49.

With top trade diplomats from the US and China expected to meet on Thursday and Friday, markets are hoping the White House would back-down on its threat and close the long-awaited deal, which could reverse the recent gains in the yen and the Government bonds, and drive global equities higher.

 

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