The yen rose against most of its major counterparts as Asian stocks
declined amid signs global economic growth is losing momentum, boosting demand
for the relative safety of Japan’s currency. The MSCI Asia Pacific
Excluding Japan Index of shares dropped 0.8%, led by raw-material producers.
Japan’s currency also advanced against 15 of its 16 major counterparts as the
U.S. and Australia increased security at their embassies around the world on
concern this week’s killing of Osama bin Laden may lead to revenge attacks. The
yen climbed to 120.05 per euro from 120.45 yesterday, after earlier rising to
119.76, the strongest since April 27. Japan’s currency gained 0.4% to 80.91 per
dollar after advancing to 80.90, the highest level since March 25. The greenback
traded at $1.4836 per euro from $1.4830.
The Canadian dollar gained as three television networks projected
that Prime Minister Stephen Harper won a majority of seats in Parliament, giving
him a mandate to fund corporate and personal income tax cuts with curbs on
spending. Harper’s Conservatives were ahead or leading in 166
districts, according to preliminary results from Elections Canada. The New
Democratic Party was leading in 103 seats and will form the official opposition,
followed by 34 for the Liberal Party. The separatist Bloc Quebecois led in four
seats with the Green Party ahead in one. The Conservatives held 143 seats in the
308-seat legislature before the vote. Canada’s dollar rose 0.4% to 94.70 cents
versus the U.S. currency.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars slipped for a second day as
crude oil prices dropped. Australia’s dollar declined 0.4% to $1.0904
after rising to $1.1012 yesterday, the strongest since its free float in 1983.
The kiwi fell 0.2% to 80.49 U.S. cents.