The yen and Swiss franc climbed after President Barack Obama authorized targeted air strikes in Iraq, adding to the allure of haven assets amid geopolitical conflicts in Ukraine and across the Middle East.
The yen rose to the strongest since November against the euro before the Bank of Japan governor speaks today and after Ukraine’s government said pro-Russian separatists downed a fighter jet. The greenback was near its strongest in almost six months versus a basket of major peers and 10-year Treasuries climbed, sending yields to the lowest since June 2013. The New Zealand and Australian dollars fell with Turkey’s lira. Currency volatility rose to a two-month high.
“We’re seeing Treasuries rally and a bit of risk aversion through markets at the moment,” said Greg Gibbs, the Singapore-based head of Asia-Pacific markets strategy at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “Euro-yen and dollar-yen are both coming under some additional pressure.”