Dollar hits four-month low as Obama warns on debt

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GMT - 3 Hours Dollar hits four-month low as Obama warns on debt

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:05 am

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TOKYO: The dollar hit a fresh four-month low versus the yen in Asia trade Tuesday as a standoff over competing plans to raise the US debt limit intensified amid no clear progress in efforts to avoid a default.

The dollar fell to 77.89 yen, its lowest level since March 17, after US President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a prime time TV speech in which he warned that the current debt impasse could have grave consequences.

The euro rose to $1.4476 from $1.4382 in New York Monday.

"The speech falls short of market expectations that the President might show progress on the ongoing standoff," Hideki Hayashi, global economist at Mizuho Securities, told.

The greenback later saw volatile trade, at one point surging to 78.70 yen before falling back to 78.11.

The euro was at 113.11 yen from 112.37 in New York.

Dealers said the movement was due to large yen selling orders being triggered by a certain price, as opposed to any Japanese market intervention.

The dollar "has been weighed by uncertainty over the US debt ceiling talks and concern over a possible credit downgrading," said Gen Kawabe, dealer at Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans have made no substantial progress towards a unified plan to cut the deficit and raise the debt ceiling by a August 2 deadline.

While markets in general expect officials to resolve their differences in time, the continued impasse has raised uncertainty over whether the US can keep its triple-A credit rating.

With a potential US default looming, Obama appealed to Americans to "make your voice heard".

The yen rose nearer to levels not seen since it reached a postwar dollar high following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which prompted Japan and its G7 partners to launch a coordinated intervention that month.

Japanese exporters have called for government efforts to halt the yen's advance, but Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Tuesday stopped short of hinting at an imminent currency market intervention.

"The (yen's) movement has been one-sided largely because of overseas factors. I will continue to closely watch developments in the market today," Noda said.

In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 index came off earlier gains to end the morning session flat. (AFP)
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