Yen at lowest point in two weeks as U.S. equities gain

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Yen at lowest point in two weeks as U.S. equities gain

The yen fell against all its major counterparts as improving U.S. economic data and a recovery in oil prices dampened demand for safer assets.

The currency approached the weakest level in two weeks against the greenback as Japanese shares advanced for a third day following gains in U.S. equities on Wednesday. The yen has still strengthened at least 2 percent versus all of its 16 major peers this year as concern China’s economy is slowing roiled financial markets around the world.

“The yen is playing catch-up today,” said James Purcell, cross-asset strategist at UBS Group AG’s wealth-management business in Hong Kong. “Dollar-yen positioning was simply too extreme.”

Japan’s currency dropped 0.6 percent to 114.11 per dollar as of 6:08 a.m. in London after depreciating to 114.56 on Wednesday, the weakest level since Feb. 16. It declined 0.5 percent to 123.94 against the euro. The single currency fell 0.1 percent to $1.0862.

Options traders aren’t as bullish on the yen as they were last month. The premium for contracts to buy the currency versus the dollar in three months, over the cost of those to sell, was at 2.36 percentage points, after rising to 2.67 on Feb. 24, the most since July 2010, according to end-of-day prices compiled by Bloomberg.

Bets from large speculators that the yen will gain versus the dollar climbed last week to a net 52,734 contracts, a four- year high. Bloomberg

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