Yen Strengthens On Risk Aversion; China Sees New Central Bank Chief
The dollar dropped below the 90 mark as the Asia market opened on Monday morning. Boosted by risk aversion, the anti-risk Japanese yen performed the best last week and continued to remain strong as the Asia market opened on Monday.
The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies last stood at 89.87 at 10:50PM ET (02:50GMT), up 0.08%. The dollar index was traded as high as at 90.37 last Friday.
The USD/JPY pair shed 0.16% to 105.84, a rather sharp slump from last week's high of 107.23. The country’s trade recovery continued as exports data came at 1.8% in February, roughly in line with the expected 1.9% increase. However, exports to China, the country’s biggest trading partner, fell 9.7% year-on-year.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is still embroiled in the political scandal that involves altered documents linked to his wife. The political tensions in the country pushed up the save-haven currency as Abe's approval ratings took a hit after a nationwide survey was conducted.
The AUD/USD pair traded at 0.7701, up 0.17%. The Reserve Bank of Australia still gives no signs of rate hikes, but the meeting minutes of the Bank due on Tuesday are expected to give some direction to the Aussie. The country’s job data in February are also due on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the fix rate of yuan against the dollar at 6.3141 versus Friday’s 6.3238. The USD/CNY pair eased 0.04% to 6.3311.
The personnel reshuffle in China’s government and the PBOC were in focus as the central bank nominated its vice governor Yi Gang to replace its current head Zhou Xiaochuan, according to parliament delegates.
In addition, China’s February new home prices rose month-on-month in 44 cities, compared with 52 cities in January. Beijing’s new home prices fell 0.3% month-on-month.