In a story that's beginning to sound a bit repetitive, the yen is again at the forefront of the currency markets this morning, being pushed to new lows amid concerns about the country's government and economic situation.
The yen was pushed down to new 20-month lows against the dollar and two-month lows vs. the euro in early trading as the political uncertainty stretches past the weekend.
While Prime Minister
-- who is widely blamed for the country's economic weakness -- was expected to step down from office this weekend, he remains in position today. Mori told the Japanese
that while he has no intention of resigning, he may bring about an election for a new prime minister in the near future. This is widely considered a way of saving face in front of a forced resignation.
Also over the weekend, a report said the
Bank of Japan
would consider returning to a zero interest-rate policy as early as the March 19 meeting. A free-money regime was abandoned late last year.
Japanese stock index tanked in its last session, falling over 3%, a drop which only furthered the devaluation of the yen. The dollar was most recently trading at 120.17 yen per dollar, off of the day's earlier highs of 120.69, due to profit-taking by traders, according to
. The yen closed last week at 119.55, having already broken through the psychological 120 yen per dollar barrier.
The yen was trading far down on the euro also earlier, but has since recouped almost all of its losses on the same profit-taking by traders. The euro was recently trading at 111.40 yen per euro, down slightly from last Friday's close of 111.43 yen.
Trading between the dollar and euro has stuck to a smaller range, as market concentration focuses on the Japanese currency. After last Friday's U.S. jobs report indicated that a softer-than-expected landing may be in sight for the U.S. economy, the dollar gained some momentum on the euro. The euro was last trading at $0.9269, after having closed in the last trading session at $0.9327.
The Australian dollar is still wallowing near its all-time lows against the U.S. currency, as the U.S. jobs report gave the U.S. dollar a boost over its Aussie counterpart. The Australian buck has been devaluing sharply in the last week amid concerns of the spreading global economic slowdown to the land down-under. The Aussie dollar was most recently trading for $0.5078, down slightly from its last close of $0.5088.
The British pound remains out of the spotlight again today, losing a bit of value against the dollar. The pound was recently down at $1.4626, having closed trading on Friday at $1.4692.
The Canadian dollar is also slipping against the U.S. currency this morning. The U.S. dollar was recently trading at C$1.5489, up just a bit from C$1.5468, where it closed last Friday.