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Yen Aims to Extend Gains as Market Sentiment Sours

Yen Aims to Extend Gains as Market Sentiment Sours

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC


  • Yen up, Aussie & NZ Dollars down as APAC markets rethink Italy
  • China hint at RRR cut fails to make a lasting dent in risk aversion
  • FTSE 100, S&P 500 futures hint sentiment is likely to sour further

Risk aversion returned with a vengeance in Asia Pacific trade as local bourses took stock of Europe’s response to ongoing in Italy. News that President Sergio Mattarella blocked the appointment of a eurosceptic to the Economy Ministry was celebrated until Europe came online Monday, with traders seemingly happy to see anti-EU populism checked.

That swiftly changed once Euro-area exchanges came online however. The spread between Italian 10-year bond yields and German equivalents – a measure of the extra risk in lending to Rome versus Berlin – jumped to the highest in over four years. The Euro plunged alongside the Euro Stoxx 50 equities benchmark, which shed a hefty 1.2 percent.

Today, APAC investors seem resigned to let Europe set the tone. Regional shares are down over 0.7 percent. A pause following reports in state-directed media that China is mulling a reserve requirement rate (RRR) cut to boost near-term liquidity proved fleeting. The anti-risk Japanese Yen is leading the way higher while the sentiment-linked Australian and New Zealand Dollars are on the defensive.

Looking ahead, a lull in big-splash event risk seems likely to keep broader risk appetite trends at the forefront. US consumer confidence data and a speech from St Louis Fed President James Bullard, a well-known dove, are unlikely to dislodge the status quo view on monetary policy. Futures tracking the FTSE 100 and S&P 500 equities benchmarks hint the risk-off mood will persist as London and New York come online.

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--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

To contact Ilya, use the comments section below or @IlyaSpivak on Twitter

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.