Yen gains in Asia

June 30, 2009

, TOKYO, Jun 30 – The yen turned higher against the dollar in late Asian trade on Tuesday as the market waited for a flurry of economic reports including a key survey of Japanese business confidence.

The dollar slipped to 95.84 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade from 96.04 in New York late Monday. The euro climbed to 1.4120 dollars from 1.4088 but was flat at 135.28 yen.

Currency traders were waiting for fresh cues from a string of economic figures in the United States, including housing and consumer data out later in the day, followed by key monthly jobs on Thursday.

In Japan, a key survey of business confidence due to be released on Wednesday, is expected to show an improvement in sentiment among the country\’s major manufacturers from a record low the previous quarter.

But it is hard to predict what the impact will on the yen, Yuji Saito, head of forex at Societe Generale in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Positive news could push up shares and spark selling of the safe-haven yen, said Saito.

"But if players focus on the leading indicator portions of the Tankan, which won\’t be as bright, that could be a drag on share prices, which could help the yen," he said.

The European Central Bank is scheduled to meet Thursday with its policymakers focused on how to support bank lending. The ECB is widely expected to hold its key lending rate steady at an all-time low of 1.0 percent.

Against Asian currencies, the dollar fell to 1,272.75 South Korean won from 1,287.55 a day earlier, to 10,210 Indonesian rupiah from 10,259 and to 1.4481 Singapore dollars from 1.4548.

It dropped to 32.85 Taiwan dollars from 32.93 and to 34.03 Thai baht from 34.08, but rose to 48.17 Philippine pesos from 47.75.

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