Reuters-By Ankur Banerjee
Japanese yen and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration picture taken June 15, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration
SINGAPORE, Dec 21 (Reuters) – The yen hovered around a four-month high against the dollar on Wednesday as traders contemplated the shock move by the Bank of Japan to adjust its bond yield control programme and potentially open the door to move away from its ultra-easy monetary policy.
In a surprise move, the BOJ on Tuesday decided to let long-term yields move 50 basis points either side of its 0% target, wider than the 25 basis point band previously, even as the central bank kept broad policy setting unchanged.
Japanese yen weakened 0.26% versus the greenback at 132.06 per dollar early on Wednesday, but stayed not far off its four month high of 130.58 per dollar it touched on Tuesday as it spiked 3.8% higher.
The currency market is still digesting BOJ’s policy tweak, said Carol Kong, a currency strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
“The market has interpreted the decision as step towards an eventual pivot from the current ultra-dovish monetary policy,” she said, noting the yen could continue to appreciate in the near term.
The move from the BOJ comes as investors fret about a slowing world economy, sky-high inflation and other central banks’ moves to hike interest rates. Global investors have been betting on a change in policy from the central bank and will now be increasing their bets on bigger changes.
“Next year will be particularly interesting whether there will be further move from the BOJ in terms of yield curve control program and also policy on interest rate,” Kong said.
The dollar index , which measures the greenback against yen and five other major currencies, was flat at 103.94.
The euro was up 0.01% to $1.0622, while sterling was last trading at $1.2183, up 0.02% on the day.
Elsewhere, the Australian dollar rose 0.18% versus the greenback at $0.669, while the kiwi fell 0.13% versus the greenback at $0.634.
Currency bid prices at 0129 GMT
Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Lincoln Feast.
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