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Yen declines while US dollar holds steady


by Elaine Frei
March 20, 2006

The Japanese yen lost value against major currencies on Monday after having made gains early in the session. The decline was blamed on technical factors and on the fact that Japanese importers had engaged in significant selling of yen and purchase of US dollars ahead of a public holiday. Also a possible factor were comments by the nation’s vice finance minister, who said that sudden changes in the yen were not desirable.

By mid-day in New York the yen had lost 0.4 percent versus the US dollar to ¥116.31. The Japanese currency had also declined 0.2 percent to ¥141.46 in relation to the euro and was down 0.3 percent to ¥204.13 versus sterling.

The US dollar, meanwhile, was virtually unchanged against sterling at $1.7548 and in relation to the euro at $1.2160 as traders waited to see what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will say in a speech later on in the evening.

In other currencies, the Chinese renminbi gained another 0.9 percent against the US dollar to Rmb8.0241as two US senators in favor of trade tariffs against the Asian nation if the currency is not allowed to gain in value arrived in China.

Elsewhere, both the Polish zloty and the Hungarian forint lost value in relation to the euro. The forint dropped 0.9 percent to Ft262.26 versus the shared currency as Hungary’s central bank kept interest rates at 6 percent without even considering a rate hike. The polish currency declined by 0.7 percent to 3.8781 zlotys to the euro on uncertainties in the political arena.



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