The yen gained as much as 1.6% against the dollar, the biggest advance since March 2011. The currency strengthened 1.1% versus the euro.
Japan’s currency is poised to strengthen more than 10% versus the dollar within six months, according to Tom DeMark, the creator of indicators to show turning points in securities.
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the pace of the yen’s weakening had been too fast, speaking a week before a meeting of global finance chiefs where Japan’s currency stance is forecast to be an issue.
Aso’s comment to reporters in Tokyo today came after he earlier told lawmakers the government hadn’t anticipated a rapid move to around 90 per dollar. The yen slumped 13% since mid-November in anticipation of monetary stimulus advocated by Shinzo Abe, who took office as prime minister in December.
The New Zealand dollar climbed 0.2% to 83.47 U.S. cents. The Australia rose 0.3% to $1.0314. The euro slipped 0.3% to $1.3360.
Commodities, Emerging Markets
The S&P GSCI gauge of 24 commodities climbed 0.7%. Zinc and copper advanced more than 1%, the first gain in four days for both. China is the biggest buyer of industrial metals.
Brent crude surged to a nine-month high in London after stronger-than-expected trade data from China signaled increased fuel demand in the world’s second-biggest consuming country.
West Texas Intermediate oil in New York fell, boosting the European benchmark grade’s premium for an eighth day. China’s exports rose 25% in January from a year earlier and crude imports increased to the highest level in eight months, customs figures showed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said oil markets will “remain tight” in the first quarter and may push prices above its forecasts.
Oil may fall next week as technical indicators signal that prices may have risen too quickly, a Bloomberg survey showed.
Eighteen of 37 analysts, or 49%, forecast crude will decline through Feb. 15. Twelve respondents, or 32%, predicted an increase and seven forecast little change. Last week, 42% of analysts projected a gain.
The relative-strength index of front-month oil futures rose above 74 at settlement on Jan. 30, the highest level since Feb. 24, 2012. The RSI slipped to 56 today, the least since Dec. 24.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was little changed. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 0.6%. Trading volume was 19% less than the 30-day average before markets close next week for the Lunar New Year. OAO Gazprom dragged the Micex Index down 0.4% after saying lower profit last year may lead to a cut in dividends. South Korea’s Kospi Index rallied 1%, rebounding from a 10-week low. India’s Sensex slid 0.5%, dropping for a seventh day in the longest losing streak since November 2011.
Brazil’s Bovespa index was little changed while the real currency touched a nine-month high as Finance Minister Guido Mantega signaled that the government would allow the currency to appreciate another 5% before the central bank intervened to stem gains.
The currency slipped 0.2% to 1.9705 per dollar at after rallying to 1.9511, the strongest intraday level since May 11. The real has gained 0.9% this week on speculation policy makers will let it rise to contain inflation.