Asia FX rises ahead of nonfarm payrolls; yen firms amid intervention watch

July 5, 2024 6:37 am

Investing.com– Most Asian currencies advanced slightly on Friday, recovering further as the dollar weakened ahead of key payrolls data, while the Japanese yen strengthened sharply amid speculation over potential government intervention.

Elsewhere, the firmed slightly with the Labour party set to log a sweeping win in the UK general election.

The and sank to three-week lows in holiday-thinned trade, while growing expectations of interest rate cuts also dented the greenback. Focus was now squarely on key data, due later on Friday, for more cues on interest rates. 

While a softer dollar did benefit Asian markets, gains were limited as a potential escalation in tensions between China and Taiwan dented sentiment. 

Japanese yen firms sharply, USDJPY sinks amid intervention chatter

The Japanese yen was among the best performers in Asia, with the pair, which gauges the number of yen needed to buy one dollar, sinking 0.4% to 160.63. 

The sharp strengthening in the yen sparked speculation over whether the Japanese government had intervened in currency markets to support the currency. The government was expected to potentially intervene around the July 4 U.S. market holiday, taking advantage of lower trading volumes.

Recent weakness in the yen was spurred by growing bets that the Bank of Japan will have limited headroom to tighten policy further, amid persistent weakness in the Japanese economy.

Weak data for May furthered this notion on Friday. 

Chinese yuan flat as Taiwan tensions increase 

The Chinese yuan lagged its peers, with the pair hovering around seven-month lows. 

Sentiment towards China was further dented by reports that Beijing seized a Taiwanese fish trawler, and had also deployed aircraft around the Taiwan strait. 

The reports came following an earlier report that Taiwanese firms were withdrawing their staff from China, after Beijing outlined strict punishments for proponents of an independent Taiwan. 

Any escalation in tensions with Taiwan could draw more scrutiny towards China, attracting more sanctions from the West. 

The Taiwan dollar’s pair fell 0.2%. 

Other Asian currencies advanced slightly, as a U.S. market holiday made for scant trading cues. The Australian dollar’s pair rose 0.1%. 

The South Korean won’s pair fell 0.1%, while the Singapore dollar’s pair fell 0.1%.

The Indian rupee’s pair fell slightly, but remained close to recent record highs.

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