USD/JPY Near Five Year High at 104.80

The yen came within 0.6 percent of a five-year low amid speculation Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will appoint tomorrow an ally to head the ministry in charge of reforming the nation’s pension fund.

Japan’s currency slid versus all of its 16 most-traded counterparts as Kyodo News reported Abe may appoint Yasuhisa Shiozaki, deputy policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to become health minister. The dollar rose to an seven-month high against its major peers on prospects an improving U.S. economy will support the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. The Australian dollar held losses after the Reserve Bank kept borrowing-costs at a record low.

“Media reports that Prime Minister Abe is considering appointing Shiozaki as the health, labor and welfare minister are fueling expectations for GPIF reform, helping lift Japanese stocks and spurring yen selling,” said Yuji Saito, a Tokyo-based director of foreign exchange at Credit Agricole SA, referring to Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund. “Shiozaki has been actively putting forward suggestions on GPIF reform.”


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