Yen Falls, Euro Gains as U.K. Polls Tip Toward Staying in EUby
First survey after politician’s murder puts ‘Remain’ in lead
Japanese currency drops for first time in seven days
The yen fell for the first time in seven days as investor appetite for higher-yielding currencies improved after the latest U.K. polls suggested Britons will vote to stay in the European Union in a June 23 referendum.
The euro rose for a second day after the first survey taken after the murder of pro-European lawmaker Jo Cox showed the “Remain” camp gaining momentum, reversing a trend of the previous week, when a series of polls swung in favor of an exit from the bloc. The pound headed for its biggest jump since 2008, while other high-yielding currencies strengthened, such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars.
“We are seeing a reversal in the risk-off environment,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a foreign-exchange strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “That means that the safe havens are weakening. The euro meanwhile is strengthening as it has been suffering from the prospect of a Brexit, and because of its strong linkage to the U.K. it was put in the same box as the pound.”
The yen weakened 0.4 percent to 104.56 per dollar as of 7:40 a.m. New York time, in the biggest decline among its 15 major peers. The Japanese currency is still the group’s best-performer so far in June, as it has benefited from haven demand before the U.K. referendum.
The single currency climbed 0.5 percent to $1.1329, after rising 0.5 percent on Friday. The pound jumped 2 percent to $1.4650, the biggest jump since December 2008.
Investor attitudes in recent weeks have been influenced by Britain’s debate over whether to stay in the EU. Bookmakers’ odds suggest the chances of a ‘Leave’ vote have faded since the murder of Cox on June 16. A poll published over the weekend showed 45 percent of voters backed the ‘Remain’ camp, while 42 percent were in favor of a Brexit.
The Aussie climbed 0.9 percent to 74.52 U.S. cents, while the New Zealand dollar gained 0.8 percent to 71.07 cents.