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Low Yen Bolsters Commodity Currencies

Gaffney thinks the massive repatriation of the Japanese yen that drove the currency higher after the earthquake and tsunami seems to be over.

The U.S. dollar was flat against the a basket of major currencies Tuesday following the release of dampening lackluster economic data.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index showed a slightly milder-than-expected decrease of 3.1% in January, after a decline of 2.43% in December.

According to, economists were expecting a drop of 3.5% in January. The Conference Board said consumer confidence fell to a reading of 63.4 in March, which was lower than the reading of 65 that economists had been expecting, and far weaker than February's level of 72.
>> Stocks Up as Market Anticipates Jobs Data

Nevertheless, like its peers, the dollar firmed against the yen Tuesday.

"Overall, though, the dollar has continued to firm against the yen as the relative spreads between the U.S. and Japanese 2- and 10-year [bond] has moved in the dollar's favor since bottoming out in mid-March," said financial services firm Brown Brothers Harriman in a research report.

The U.S. dollar index was trading sideways at $76.28, while the dollar was gaining 0.9% against the yen at $82.419. The CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) was down 0.9% at $119.84. PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bearish (UDN) was down 0.1% to $28.02 and PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (UUP) was flat at $21.88.

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-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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FXY $90.18 -0.43%
UUP $24.28 0.46%
UDN $22.53 -0.53%
FXA $74.69 0.15%
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