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USD/JPY at 98.70 as U.S. Fiscal Woes Boost Safety Demand

The yen strengthened versus all of its 16 major counterparts as investors sought safety amid concern a budget deadlock among U.S. lawmakers will send the nation to the brink of a federal government shutdown.

A gauge of the greenback was poised for its first five-day gain in four weeks after Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George said labor-market gains warrant tapering the U.S. central bank’s bond purchases, which tend to debase the currency. South Korea’s won was set for its biggest monthly gain in almost two years after foreign funds pumped money into the nation’s stocks.

“In the very short term, if we do get a bit more uncertainty coming out of the fiscal situation in the U.S., we do think the yen will strengthen across the board,” said Peter Dragicevich, a currency strategist in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s biggest lender.

Bloomberg [1]

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