SYDNEY/TOKYO (Reuters) - The yen’s advance to multi-month highs against the euro stalled on Friday as investors booked profits before the weekend.
The euro fetched 138.14 yen, off a four-month low of 137.98. It was still on track to end down for a fourth straight week and at a loss of 2.5 percent on the month.
Similarly, the greenback climbed off a one-week low of 101.42 to last stand at 101.55. On the month, the dollar was down roughly 0.7 percent.
“Expectations for a step-up in the pace of BOJ quantitative easing are currently running low, which is one reason the yen has recently been strengthening,” said Ray Attrill, strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney.
Data on Friday did little to dissipate lowered expectations for further BOJ easing, with Japan’s core consumer prices jumping 3.2 percent in April from a year earlier and posting ans 11th straight month of annual gains.
“Market reaction to the CPI was limited, and we likely to see prices deviate time to time from expectations going forward. But prices have been rising roughly as the BOJ wants and expectations for further easing will naturally ebb as a result, which is a yen-buying factor,” said Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities in Tokyo.
Yen-buying pressure could gain further momentum if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration fails to unveil a convincing economic growth plan in June, Ishikawa said.
Investors generally dismissed revised data that showed the U.S. economy contracted for the first time in three years in the first quarter, given that more recent data has suggested a recovery following a severe winter.
“Despite the ugly headline, the details of the revision are actually favourable for second quarter GDP,” analysts at JPMorgan wrote in a note to clients
“Almost all of the revision was due to a downward-revised estimate of the pace of inventory accumulation in Q1, which should allow for a more rapid pace of production this quarter as businesses are operating with less of an inventory overhang.”
The euro drifted up to $1.3605 from a three-month trough of $1.3586. Barring a further recovery, it is likely to end lower for a fourth straight week.
Traders expect the common currency to remain under a cloud heading into the June 5 policy review by the European Central Bank, from which some sort of policy action is now widely expected.
ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch said this week that next week’s meeting could yield a combination of policies to tackle low inflation and low credit growth.
Among the best performers was the Australian dollar, which climbed about 1 percent to a 1-1/2 week high of $0.9326.
The market warmed to the currency after Australian companies revised up their spending plans for the fiscal year starting July, boosting the outlook for the economy.
Editing by Eric Meijer & Kim Coghill