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RPT-FOREX-Dollar/yen hits six-year high as markets buy 'hawkish' Fed guidance
September 18, 2014 / 3:37 AM / 3 years ago

RPT-FOREX-Dollar/yen hits six-year high as markets buy 'hawkish' Fed guidance

(Repeats to adds missing FOREX tag to headline)

* Dollar sets fresh 6-year high versus yen

* Bulls latch onto new higher Fed rate projections

* Ignore pledge to keep rates low for ‘considerable time’

* Dollar index touches highest in over four years

* Scotland’s independence vote next focus

By Ian Chua and Masayuki Kitano

SYDNEY/SINGAPORE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a six-year high against the yen on Thursday after the Federal Reserve’s guidance on interest rates highlighted the diverging pathways between the United States and other rich nations.

The greenback raced to a high of 108.69 yen, its strongest level since September 2008. The dollar last traded at 108.58 yen, up 0.2 percent on the day.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar touched a high of 84.814 , reaching a high not seen since July 2010, and bringing into view its 2010 peak of 88.708. It last traded at 84.648.

The euro held steady at $1.2867, having slumped to a 14-month low of $1.2834 earlier on Thursday.

“The dollar buying trend against everything has a momentum of its own globally for now,” said Jeffrey Halley, FX trader for Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore.

The market is seeing only what it wants to see and ignoring other factors, such as the lack of any major changes to the Fed’s post-meeting statement, he added.

“There will be resistance into 109 and 110, but it’s pointless standing in front of the train at the moment,” Halley said, referring to the dollar’s outlook versus the yen.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday repeated its assurance that rates would stay ultra-low for a “considerable time” after a bond-buying stimulus programme ends. The Fed announced a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly purchases, leaving the programme on course to end next month.

The Fed’s new interest rate projections, however, indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving.

For the end of next year, the median projection was 1.375 percent, compared to 1.125 percent in June, while the end-2016 projection moved up to 2.875 percent from 2.50 percent.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen tried to play down the shift in a news conference after the statement was released, saying there is “relatively little upward movement in the (rate) path.”

The Fed’s policy review was one of the most anticipated events of the week, the other being the referendum on Scotland’s independence.

Just hours before Scots vote on Thursday, a poll by Survation showed support for staying in the United Kingdom is at 53 percent.

Still, the threat of a break-up of the United Kingdom is keeping sterling on edge. It last traded at $1.6264, down 0.1 percent on the day, having dropped more than 3 percent earlier in the month to as low as $1.6052.

Voting ends at 2100 GMT on Thursday.

Commodity currencies came off their earlier lows but struggled to gain traction, with the Australian dollar edging up 0.1 percent on the day to $0.8968 , after hitting a six-month low of $0.8939 earlier on Thursday. (Editing by Richard Pullin and Eric Meijer)

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