September 10, 2019 / 11:22 AM / 5 months ago

FOREX-Yen pinned at 5-week lows as investors cut bets on economic gloom

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The yen held at a five-week low versus the greenback on Tuesday as firming government bond yields encouraged investors to trim their bearish bets on the global economy.

Commodity-focused currencies such as the Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar also firmed amid the relief rally in global markets with investors waiting for more policy easing from the European Central Bank at a review this week.

Germany’s 30-year bond yield rose into positive territory for the first time in more than a month.

Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to three-week highs as investors ventured into riskier assets.

Higher U.S. Treasury yields also pushed the dollar higher against a basket of its rivals, breaking a four-day losing streak.

“What we are seeing now is a reversal of some of those investment flows in the summer,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG in London.

Against the dollar, the yen fell to a five-week low of 107.50 yen, its weakest since early August.

Recent data has lifted some of the gloom over the global economy. Citi’s Economic Surprise Index for the United States turned positive in the past week for the first time since February. The UK’s equivalent turned positive for the first time since June. The G10 aggregate index is on the cusp of flipping into the black and is at its highest in a year

“Over the past 24 hours there has been a move towards more risk-friendly, pro-growth currencies,” Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney.

The euro was broadly flat at $1.104. It reached an overnight high of $1.1067 after a Reuters report that Germany may set up public investment agencies to boost fiscal stimulus without breaching national spending rules.

The Swedish crown was the only notable loser in early London trading, falling 0.5% versus the dollar and 0.7% against the euro, after August inflation data came in below market expectations.

Sterling was steady as Britain’s parliament voted to block Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid for an early election, which pushed him to promise he would secure a Brexit deal at a European Union summit next month.

Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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