Yen rises as global growth woes hit risk sentiment

By Reuters

Oct 12, 2014 11:48 PM EDT

The yen scaled a one-month high against the dollar on Monday, as heightened worries about the health of the global economy continued to shore up the safe-haven Japanese currency.

The yen has pulled away from a six-year low versus the dollar set in early October, after dovish-leaning minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting released last Wednesday prompted the market to push back the expected timing of a Fed rate hike.

The low-yielding yen has gained further momentum in recent sessions as worries about the outlook for global growth hurt appetite for risk and triggered a selloff in global equities.

A drop in U.S. equities futures ESc1 on Monday provided broad support for the yen, said Jeffrey Halley, FX trader for Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore.

"It's definitely a risk-off move and we will have reduced liquidity with the U.S. and Japan on holiday today," Halley said.

Japanese markets are closed for a public holiday on Monday. In the United States, the bond market will be closed for a holiday although the stock market will be open. <US/HOLIDAY>

The dollar fell 0.4 percent to 107.21 yen JPY=, having fallen to as low as 107.18 yen, the weakest level in about a month and down from a six-year high of 110.09 yen set on Oct. 1.

Since investors often sell the low-yielding yen in carry trades to fund their investment in higher-yielding currencies and assets, the yen tends to get a boost if a worsening of risk sentiment triggers an unwinding of such bets.

In a sign of the jittery market mood, Wall Street's fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, touched a near two-year high of 22.06 on Friday.

The Japanese currency also raced to its highest level in about 11 months versus the euro, with the single currency down

0.3 percent at 135.57 yen EURJPY=R.

The euro has been hampered by concerns about economic weakness in the euro zone and the growth outlook for Germany, Europe's biggest economy.

Worries about the euro zone were echoed by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who said on Friday that a slowdown in the euro zone's economic momentum could weigh further on the reluctance of companies and households to invest. [ID:nF9N0OS029]

Against the dollar, the euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2645 EUR=, having shed 0.5 percent on Friday.

The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to 93.09 yen AUDJPY=R, and earlier touched 92.82 yen - its weakest level since late March.

Against the U.S. dollar, the Aussie held steady at $0.8684 AUD=D4.

The next test for the Aussie and broader risk sentiment is Chinese trade data due later on Monday.

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