Yen falls 3rd day on signs U.S. economy improving

Currency Indexes

The dollar has gained 1.3% over the past six months, according to Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes that track 10 developed market currencies. The euro has risen 3.9%.

The yen has slumped about 20%, the worst performer on the indexes, in anticipation of expanded stimulus from the Bank of Japan that culminated in the April 4 decision to double monthly bond purchases in pursuit of a 2% annual inflation target.

“The dollar-yen move was an obvious one on the back of the payrolls,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “There’s an element of reducing some of the pessimism that was starting to build up. There was a lot of uncertainty about the durability of the U.S. recovery.”

The euro advanced against the majority of its top peers, gaining the most against the South African rand and the Australian dollar.

Output Data

A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in the manufacturing and services industries in the euro region increased to 46.9 last month from 46.5 in March, London-based Markit Economics said. While above an initial estimate of 46.5 published on April 23, it was still below 50, indicating contraction. Retail sales declined for a second month in March, separate data showed.

In Australia, retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.4% in March after gaining 1.3% the previous month, a government report showed today. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a gain of 0.1%.

There’s a 51% chance that the Reserve Bank of Australia will lower its benchmark 3% rate when it meets tomorrow, Bloomberg calculations based on overnight-index swap rates indicate.

The so-called Aussie weakened 0.9% to $1.0231.

The Malaysian ringgit gained as much as 2.3% to 2.9625 per dollar, the strongest since September 2011. Najib’s coalition extended its 55-year rule, giving him a mandate to continue his economic reforms and deliver $444 billion of infrastructure and other investments by 2020.

The Swedish krona depreciated 0.2% to 6.5184 per dollar.

An index based on responses from purchasing managers rose to a seasonally adjusted 48.6 in April from 47.3 the previous month, Stockholm-based Swedbank, which compiles the index, said today. A reading below 50 signals a contraction. The median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for the reading to increase to 49.

Bloomberg News

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