February 22, 2016 / 11:10 PM / 4 years ago

Yen, Swiss franc gain as risk appetite wanes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The yen and Swiss franc rallied against the dollar and the euro on Tuesday as a recent rebound in stocks and crude oil faded, renewing demand for both safe-haven currencies.

A woman walks past a rates board outside a Forex outlet in central London, Britain, February 22 , 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The Japanese currency climbed to a roughly two-week peak against the dollar, while the Swiss franc rose to a roughly three-week high, as crude prices sank nearly 5 percent on the day, while Wall Street shares traded lower.

Comments from Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Tuesday also helped the yen’s cause. Kuroda said accelerating the pace of money printing alone would not boost expectations of future price rises and acknowledged the limits of what monetary policy can do to revive growth.

“The yen story is bigger than one day,” Alan Ruskin, global head of FX strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York. “People are starting to say ‘I don’t like this’ in certain currencies like the pound, which has Brexit concerns or the euro with the refugee crisis and recent weakening data.”

Sentiment for riskier assets was also hurt by China's decision to set a softer mid-point for the yuan CNY=SAEC, although most traders expect it to remain steady before a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Shanghai later this week. [CNY/]

The dollar fell 0.8 percent to 112.04 JPY=, dropping as low as 111.78 yen, the lowest since Feb. 12. The euro, meanwhile, touched 123.07 yen EURJPY=, its lowest since April 2013. It was last at 123.42, down 0.8 percent.

The safe-haven Swiss franc was well-bid, pushing the dollar 0.75 percent lower to 0.9891 franc CHF=, and the euro down 0.9 percent at 1.0927 francs EURCHF=.

Europe’s shared currency fell to a one-month low against the franc, helped in part by comments from Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan, who said there was a limit to how low interest rates could go.

The euro was little changed against the dollar, falling below $1.10 for the first time in roughly three weeks, after a key index on German business climate fell sharply, raising worries about Europe’s largest economy. ECONDE It last traded at $1.1025.

In Europe, focus remained on sterling. The pound was down 0.9 percent at $1.4099 GBP= after falling to $1.4008, its lowest level since March 2009. It fell nearly 2 percent on Monday, its biggest one-day drop in almost six years.

Reporting by Tariro Mzezewa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

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