Dollar weakens against yen, euro
TOKYO: The dollar fell against the yen on Friday as markets digested surprise news that the Bank of Japan had tweaked its massive monetary stimulus programme.
The Japanese central bank jolted markets with a new scheme supporting companies actively investing in the world’s number three economy, stoking a brief surge in the Nikkei benchmark stock index and the dollar.
Wrapping up their last meeting of the year, central bank policymakers added a new plan to boost their holdings in firms dedicated to capital investment and hiring.
But they left a vast 80 trillion yen ($654 billion) annual asset-buying programme unchanged. The dollar jumped more than half a percent to as high as 123.33 yen shortly after the BoJ announcement, before sharply reversing course.
The greenback traded lower at 121.79 yen late Friday afternoon from 122.56 yen before the declaration in Tokyo, and from 122.60 yen Thursday in New York.
“At first it seemed like the BoJ was progressing with easing, but when you look at what’s inside that, it’s nothing much,” Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd, told Bloomberg News.
“They’re focusing more on qualitative, rather than quantitative, easing.”
The dollar also weakened against the euro. The single currency rose to $1.0865 on Friday afternoon in Tokyo from $1.0824 in New York on Thursday.
The euro fetched 132.33 yen against 132.71 yen in US trade. Dealers had held on to the dollar in the wake of the Fed’s long-awaited decision on Wednesday to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade, as the US central bank signaled confidence in the health of the world’s top economy.
The greenback also eased back against most higher-yielding, or riskier, emerging units. The Malaysian ringgit rose 0.58 percent, while Indonesia’s rupiah gained 0.41 percent and the Singapore dollar advanced 0.41 percent.