NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major currencies were gaining on carry trades against the Japanese yen Friday as the Group of Seven nations coordinated efforts to stem its record-high increases.
However, UBS says it's still too early to tell whether the efforts will be successful.
EverBank World Markets Vice President Chris Gaffney said the intervention has not only weakened the yen, but also has given investors the green light to put some 'risk trades' back on.
Carry trades, where investors purchase higher yielding currencies after borrowing and selling ones with lower yields, have been the "trade of the day," Gaffney said in a report.
The U.S. dollar was gaining 2.8% against the Japanese currency at $81.08 yen, while the euro was up 3.6% at 114.605 yen. The British pound was up 3% at 131.091 yen. The South African rand, Australian dollar, Danish krone and New Zealand dollar were all gaining against the yen.
Foreign exchange trading site FXDD noted that the U.S. dollar/Japanese yen pair have been failing to move above technical levels in New York trading, leading to a bias in the opposite direction.
"Reports are that the global central banks have been present in the currency market on a consistent basis. So I would expect support on dips. However, there could be times of selling that could be painful," FXDD Chief Currency Analyst Greg Michalowski cautioned in a report.
The FXDD team said the next key support below the 80.90 level comes in at 80.57; but a move below the 80.57 level would not be expected.
The UBS currency team said a coordinated intervention on the yen, is of course, likely to be much more effective than the Japan central bank going at it alone.
But, "while coordinated intervention ensures a far greater chance of success, such an outcome is not guaranteed," a UBS currency report said. "Yet the implications could be far-reaching for risk appetite, the G20 agenda and global reserve flows and allocations. "
Shares of Japanese companies were trading in mixed territory midday Friday.
was flat at $11.87, while
was up 1.7% to $51.62.
was down 1.9% to $80.54 and
was lower by 1% to $38.49.
was down 0.7% to $31.19.
Neil Hennessy, portfolio manager and chief investment officer of Hennessy Funds and manager of the Hennessy SPARX Japan and Japan Smaller Companies Funds notes the irony of the earthquake. For the first time in 20 years, Japan has come under the international spotlight again for reasons other than deflation, high debt and an aging population.
Hennessy believes that the international focus will eventually drift to cash-rich, innovative Japanese companies that have been great bargains.
Hennessy also thinks Japan's earthquake recovery will progress relatively smoothly. "You see the people coming together," he said. "You see the stores lowering the price on water. You see vending machine operators handing out drinks. Everybody's working for the common good."
ProShares UltraShort Yen
was popping 5.2% to $15.46, while the
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust
was falling 2.6% to $121.85.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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