In the European session, some of the attention was on the Australian
dollar, which fell to a four-year low of $0.8523 after the Reserve
Bank of Australia's Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said the currency
It shed 1 percent against the yen with the latter supported by
minutes of the last BOJ meeting that showed board members expressing
concern that expanding the central bank's quantitative easing could
increase the risk that it will be seen as financing the government
Separately, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech that while
recent yen falls are positive for exporters, they hurt, households,
small firms and non-manufacturers through increases in import costs.
Traders trimmed bearish yen positions and Japanese exporters were
cited as selling dollars. The dollar last traded 0.15 percent lower
at 118.10 yen, while the euro was down 0.2 percent at 146.84 yen.
"We saw inflows from investors and exporters after a holiday in
Tokyo yesterday, which has driven dollar/yen lower," said Yujiro
Goto, currency strategist at Nomura. "The BoJ minutes also showed
that some members were skeptical about quantitative easing."
The yen has been under heavy selling pressure, hitting a seven-year
low of 118.98 last week, since the BoJ late last month surprised
many by expanding its massive stimulus program.
But the speed of yen depreciation has prompted Japanese officials to
voice concern. Japan's finance minister on Friday described the fall
as "too rapid", which caused it to bounce briefly.
[to top of second column]
Meanwhile, the second release of third-quarter U.S. gross domestic
product data is expected to show a downward revision after big
upside surprise of 3.5 percent reported in the initial release. U.S.
consumer confidence is also due.
"In particular, we are watching consumer expectations series, which
has historically been a decent lead indicator for consumer
spending," ING analyst Petr Krpata wrote in a note. "Overall, higher
consumer confidence should provide some support to dollar."
The euro was slightly lower on the day, giving up some gains made
yesterday, with German growth data doing little to boost sentiment.
It was down 0.1 percent at $1.2430, off the near two-year low of
$1.2358 struck earlier this month.
(Editing by Tom Heneghan)
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