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Yen plummets as Bank of Japan holds ultra-low rates

17 Jun 2022

Japan’s Yen declined 1.9% on Friday following the central bank’s decision to maintain its ultra-low interest rates.

The U.S. Dollar came back from a one-week low against major rivals, following a two-day dip after the Federal Reserve’s rate hike didn’t surpass market expectations. The greenback rose 1.6% against the Yen, after initially gaining 1.89% to reach 134.64, Reuters reports. Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the Yen plummeted to a 24-year low of 135.6 per Dollar.

"The BoJ disappointed today by keeping all policy settings unchanged," stated Citi's Naveen Nair. He added that as Japanese government bond yields were trading above the central bank’s cap of 0.25%, markets were "seemingly still holding some hope for a BoJ capitulation."

Elsewhere, the Swiss National Bank’s move to hike rates by 0.5% continued to resonate through markets. The Euro fell 0.5% to $1.0499, although remained above Thursday’s levels.  The single currency also fell 0.3% against the Swiss Franc at 1.0165 Francs. However, the U.S. Dollar rose 0.2% to 0.9684 Francs, following a seven-year overnight decline. The Dollar index – measuring the currency against six peers - rose 0.6% to 104.48.

Moreover, U.S. long-term yields held steady in Tokyo on Friday, following a sharp drop as investors were concerned an aggressive stance by the Fed could lead to a recession.

"The slippage in U.S. yields and recession talk has undercut the DXY (U.S. Dollar index) last couple days," stated Westpac analysts in regard to the Dollar index. "DXY slippage can extend to 102 near term, but the broader bull trend is not done, not with another 75bp Fed hike on the table in July."

In addition, the Pound fell 0.7% to $1.2267 on Friday, following a 1.43% overnight gain, as the Bank of England hiked rates again and maintained a hawkish stance about future policy moves.