FOREX-Dollar edges to one-week high vs yen amid spike in Treasury yields

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 12/27/22 09:06 PM EST

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The dollar edged higher against its major peers on Wednesday, reaching a more than one-week top versus the yen, buoyed by higher Treasury yields as traders puzzled over the outlook for policy at the world's biggest central banks.

The U.S. currency ticked 0.13% higher to 133.685 yen in Asian trading, and earlier touched 133.95 for the first time since Dec. 20, when the Bank of Japan sent the pair spiralling lower with an unexpected loosening of the 10-year Japanese government bond yield policy band.

The greenback dropped as low as 130.58 yen that day for the first time since early August as traders speculated about an eventual end of BOJ stimulus.

A summary of opinions from the meeting, released Wednesday, showed policymakers discussed growing prospects the country could see higher wage growth and sustained inflation next year.

The dollar index, which measures the currency against six counterparts including the yen and euro, added 0.07% to 104.28 on Thursday, continuing its consolidation after sliding to the lowest since mid-June at 103.44 on Dec. 14, the day the Federal Reserve slowed interest rate hikes to a half-point pace.

Fed officials including Chair Jerome Powell though have stressed since then that the policy tightening will be prolonged, with a higher terminal rate, fueling worries of a U.S. slowdown.

The 10-year Treasury yield, which tends to be highly correlated to the dollar-yen pair, was at 3.843% in Tokyo, not far from the 1 1/2-month high of 3.862% reached overnight.

"The dollar is in a very interesting situation," said Bart Wakabayashi, a branch manager at State Street in Tokyo.

"If we have a recession in the U.S., the Fed will have to cut rates, and obviously you will want to sell the dollar," he said. "At the same time, if there's a global recession, people will buy the dollar as a haven. So the dollar is in a bit of a conundrum, and you have to be really careful what currency you're buying or selling against."

The euro was flat at $1.0640, tracking sideways over the past two weeks, just below the six-month high of $1.0737 reached on Dec. 15, when European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde stressed rate hikes would need to continue.

Sterling eased 0.06% to $1.2024, as it continued to hover just above its low for the month of $1.1993, reached on Dec. 22.

The Australian dollar was flat at $0.6733, while the New Zealand dollar added 0.09% to $0.6279.

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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