By Tom Westbrook and Kevin Buckland
SINGAPORE/TOKYO (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar found some support in Asia on Thursday as commodity currencies took a breather from a steep rally driven by rising prices for exports, while a recovery in the U.S. bond market offered little solace to the struggling yen.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars hovered just below multi-month peaks and the euro held at $1.0989 after a modest overnight fall.
The yen made a six-year low of 121.41 per dollar on Wednesday and was pinned near that level at 121.25 in morning trade as investors expect the Bank of Japan to lag way behind policy tightening by other major central banks fighting inflation.
An ever-more hawkish sounding U.S. Federal Reserve has further widened that policy gap with the Bank of Japan, though even an overnight steadying in the Treasury market after a few sessions of brutal selling didn’t seem to give the yen much help.
“The fundamental drivers of dollar/yen now are U.S. rates as well as Japan’s current-account deterioration because of high oil prices,” said Shinichiro Kadota, senior FX strategist at Barclays (LON:BARC) in Tokyo.
“From a technical perspective, about 121.7 was the high from early 2016, so that would be the next key target in the really near term, but if we break above that, 125 could come into focus.”
Benchmark 10-year Treasuries, which have been battered by another round of bets on aggressive U.S. rate hikes, regained composure overnight and yields fell by 9 basis points (bps) – though they are still up more than 50 bps this month.
Elsewhere the Australian dollar held at $0.7494 after a brief trip above $0.75 overnight. The New Zealand dollar was 0.2% softer at $0.6960.
Sterling slipped overnight and was marginally softer on Thursday at $1.3187 even though February inflation was a little hotter than expected. [GBP/]
Currency bid prices at 0230 GMT
Calmer bond market little salve for unloved yen
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