Yen weak in Asian trade ahead of Japan elections

The yen was under pressure in Asia on Friday ahead of weekend elections expected to usher in a new government while a key Bank of Japan survey upped speculation of more central bank easing.

The dollar fetched 83.72 yen in Tokyo morning trade from 83.64 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The euro was at 109.58 yen from 109.38 yen, while rising to $1.3088 against $1.3073 in US trading.

Japan's currency has been under pressure ahead of weekend polls that are widely expected to see the ruling Democratic Party of Japan ousted by Shinzo Abe and his opposition Liberal Democratic Party.

Abe has repeatedly pledged to pressure Japan's central bank into launching more aggressive easing measures to counter slowing in the world's third-largest economy.

The forex market's focus was "completely on" Japan's election and the BoJ meeting, said a senior dealer at a major bank in Tokyo.

The BoJ's own Tankan quarterly survey on Friday showed confidence among the nation's manufacturers, including automakers and technology firms, plunged to the lowest level in almost three years during the final months of 2012.

The survey -- which comes just days after official data showed Japan's economy contracted in the third quarter and may have slipped into recession -- was sure to heap pressure on the BoJ for a stepped-up economic offensive as it heads into a policy meeting next week.

If the BoJ holds off any new measures, the yen's weakness may reverse course, putting pressure on an already strained economy, said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Securities Japan.

"The BoJ is unlikely to take the risk of yen strength, which will likely follow if it takes no easing steps," Adachi told Dow Jones Newswires.

A strong currency hurts Japan's exporters by making their products less competitive overseas while shrinking the value of repatriated income from foreign operations.

Currency markets were also keeping a close eye on talks over Washington's fiscal cliff budgetary impasse as concerns grow about divided US lawmakers clinching a new spending deal.

Supporting the euro, European finance ministers agreed Thursday to release a 34.3 billion euro ($44.7 billion) installment of aid to debt-stricken Greece, averting the bloc member's default.

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Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.25230.000.00%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7295-0.0007-0.04%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1029-0.0012-0.06%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.9612+0.1789+0.22%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.1916-0.0004-0.01%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.5900+0.0045+0.17%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,119.2207+0.35840.00%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9700-0.0004-0.01%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1676-0.0011-0.10%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,294.00-7.90-0.61%
    GCQ14.CMX
    19.60+0.02+0.08%
    SIK14.CMX
    90.18-0.65-0.72%
    ^XAU
    3.05+0.02+0.51%
    HGK14.CMX
    104.30+0.83+0.80%
    CLK14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.73+0.08
    ^FVX
    2.72+0.08
    ^TNX
    3.52+0.06
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.116+0.001+0.87%
    B22.SI
    0.129+0.004+3.20%
    545.SI
    2.190.0000.00%
    JS8.SI
    1.27+0.015+1.20%
    N21.SI
    0.143+0.004+2.88%
    5GB.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.26+0.045+20.93%
    5UE.SI
    0.745+0.050+7.19%
    L02.SI
    0.16+0.010+6.67%
    A03.SI
    0.485+0.020+4.30%
    5UL.SI
    1.37+0.070+5.38%
    U5S.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    26.61-0.960-3.48%
    HD9.SI
    0.565-0.025-4.24%
    G08.SI
    0.275-0.005-1.79%
    M1Z.SI
    0.28-0.005-1.75%
    B69.SI
    0.3050.0000.00%
    L28.SI