USD/JPY Drops Below 118

The yen rose against most major counterparts on haven demand and as the currency’s best forecaster says he hasn’t recommended selling it in a few months with lower oil prices helping Japan’s trade balance.

A gauge of the dollar closed yesterday at almost the highest level in a decade as the Federal Reserve considers the timing of its first interest-rate increase since 2006. Australia’s dollar, Norway’s krone and the Canadian loonie were little changed after sliding yesterday when the Bloomberg Commodity Index dropped to a 12-year nadir. Jens Nordvig, managing director of currency research at Nomura Holdings Inc., said the 45 percent slump in oil since the end of October will trim Japan’s trade deficit by around $500 million.

“We’ve had a couple years where we’ve been very focused on trading the yen from the short side, but we actually haven’t been short for quite a few months,” Nordvig said in an interview. Low “oil prices are positive for Japan’s trade balance.”


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