The yen dropped for a second day versus the dollar after a Labor Department report showed the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits declined to a six-week low, damping demand for the relative safety of Japan’s currency.
First-time jobless claims fell by 7,000 to 340,000 in the week ended March 2, the lowest since the period ended Jan. 19, the Labor Department said. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for an increase to 355,000.
“U.S. data surprised positively and therefore the dollar bounced higher against the yen in line with an increase in risk appetite,” said Peter Kinsella, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in London.
Nomura Securities Co. reduced its forecasts for the yen, predicting the currency will end this year at 93 per dollar, versus a previous estimate of 90. The brokerage changed its June target to 95 per dollar from 90.
Sweden’s krona climbed to the strongest since August against the euro after Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves signaled policy makers will tolerate further gains.
The krona strengthened versus all 16 of its major counterparts as Ingves told Swedish lawmakers that the currency’s level was “not in any way remarkable.”
Sweden’s currency has appreciated 3.4% against the euro in the past month after economic data have suggested the recovery is gaining pace and as policy makers have signaled they won’t interfere with the krona’s advance.
The krona gained 0.3% to 8.3087 per euro after appreciating to 8.2866, the strongest level since Aug. 28.