U.S. Dollar, Japanese Yen Tip Higher in Asian Trade

The dollar and JPY saw some slight gains during the Asian session though overall, the USD remains near recent lows. Key factors behind Asian moves included profit-taking from Monday’s sell-off in the USD and JPY ahead of Bernanke’s appearance later today, though Bernanke himself pre-empted his own appearance with a column in the WSJ reiterating that policy will remain accommodative but offering four different exit strategy scenarios for when the time came. Another key factor behind JPY gains against the USD and crosses were exporter flows, as Japanese exporters returned from holiday, taking advantage of JPY weakness and locking in hedges. USD-JPY retreated from Asian opening levels of 94.25 to lows of 93.76 while EUR-USD, weighed down by EUR-JPY sales, tested under 1.4200, but with lows limited to 1.4189. Overall, recent stocks gains and positive data continue to underpin risk appetite that continues to pressure the USD. Asian stocks continued to firm, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index touching 10-month highs before profit-taking emerged. Oil was steady around $64 for the August contract that matures today, with gold easing along with copper, on profit-taking. U.S. treasury yields eased slightly on Bernanke’s emphasis on accommodative policy.