* Yen, Swiss franc up on attacks in Ankara, Berlin
* Yen bought back after big fall since U.S. elections
* BOJ seen keeping its policy targets on hold
* Dollar index edges up near 14-year high
By Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, Dec 20 The yen and the Swiss franc held
firm on Tuesday after two separate deadly attacks in Turkey and
Germany raised security worries in the West, while the Bank of
Japan's policy decision later in the day also saw buyers pile
into the Japanese currency.
Investors were rattled after the Russian ambassador to
Turkey was shot and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art
gallery by an off-duty police officer. Anxiety deepened further
when a truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in central
Berlin, killing nine people.
The safe-haven Swiss franc hit a six-month high against the
euro, fetching 1.0680 per euro. The Turkish lira
dropped a tad to 3.5310 to the dollar, but it held
above its record low of 3.6000 set earlier this month.
The dollar also slipped to as low as 116.55 yen on
Monday, falling more than two yens from a 10-1/2-month high of
118.66 touched on Dec 15.
The U.S. currency steadied a little and was last at 117.13
yen, in part helped by upbeat comments from Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen on the U.S. jobs market.
"Given that the yen was sold the most since the U.S.
elections, it was inevitable to see some short-covering in the
yen," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown
At its 10-1/2-month low hit last week, the yen was down
about 11 percent since the U.S. election, edging out the Mexican
peso and the Turkish lira to briefly become the worst
performer after Donald Trump's surprise election victory.
Expectations that Trump's plan on tax cuts and fiscal
spending could lead to higher U.S. growth and inflation lifted
U.S. bond yields and undermined the yen because that could
accelerate Japanese investors' buying in U.S. assets.
Traders bought back the yen also ahead of the BOJ's policy
decision later in the day.
While the central bank is expected to keep its policy on
hold, some players think Governor Haruhiko Kuroda could strike a
more hawkish tone than before given the sharp fall in the yen
since the BOJ's previous meeting.
Against many other currencies, the dollar remained
supported, with the dollar's index rising back to 103.15
from Monday's low of 102.52, coming within sight of its
14-year peak of 103.56 touched on Thursday.
The euro traded at $1.0401, having slipped 0.5
percent on Monday and edging near its Dec. 15 low of $1.03665,
its weakest level since January 2003.
The British pound also dipped to $1.2355, its
lowest in about a month and last stood at $1.2383.
The Australian dollar fell to 6-1/2-month lows of
$0.7241, turning negative for the year.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)