USD/JPY at 101.50 as Ukraine Tension Fuels Haven Demand

The yen was near its strongest level in almost a month versus the dollar after Russia took control of Crimea, intensifying concern of a conflict with Ukraine’s government and boosting demand for haven assets.

Japan’s currency rose against most of its 16 major peers as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Kiev after discussing sanctions against Russia, and European Union foreign ministers prepared to hold an emergency meeting. The Russian central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates yesterday as the ruble plunged to a record. Australia’s dollar traded near a one-month low before the nation reports its current account balance and the central bank decides on policy today.

“We’re in a typical risk-off environment,” said Noriaki Murao, the New York-based managing director of the marketing group at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., a unit of Japan’s biggest financial group by market value. “Rising tensions surrounding Ukraine will gradually drive up the yen.”


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