Forex - Yen Strengthens after BOJ Trims Bond Purchases

The yen strengthened broadly on Tuesday after the Bank of Japan trimmed the size of its bond purchases, sparking speculation that it may slow its monetary stimulus later this year.

USD/JPY was down 0.35% at 112.72 by 02:38 AM ET (07:38 AM GMT) from 112.50 earlier.

The move higher in the yen came after the BoJ trimmed the size of its bond-repurchase offer by 5% in its latest market operation, reminding investors that it will eventually normalize monetary policy.

The Japanese currency was also higher against the euro, with EUR/JPY down 0.49% to 134.71.

The euro slid to fresh one-week lows against the dollar, with EUR/USD slipping 0.13% to 1.1952, after losing around 0.56% on Monday.

The fall in the euro came as investors took profits after its recent rally amid concerns that the European Central Bank may attempt to talk down the strengthening currency ahead of its monetary policy meeting later this month.

After getting off to a strong start to the year, the single currency had hit a four-month high of 1.2088 on Thursday, putting it within striking distance of a September peak of 1.2092, its strongest level since early 2015.

The weaker euro helped support the dollar. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, edged up to 92.14.

Demand for the dollar was also underpinned by expectations for further interest rates hikes by the Federal Reserve this year after Friday’s U.S. jobs report did little to alter the outlook for monetary tightening.

While the rate of jobs growth cooled in December, a pick-up in wage growth pointed to strength in the labor market.

Sterling edged lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD losing 0.13% to trade at 1.3551.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars pushed higher, with AUD/USD edging up 0.13% to 0.7852 and NZD/USD rising 0.25% to 0.7189.