Yen, Swiss franc fall on hopes of global stimulus measures

* China unveils interest rate reform, boosts risk appetite
* Focus on Fed's Jackson Hole symposium
* Markets expect monetary leaders to announce key measures
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019

(Updates prices, adds comment)
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc retreated against the dollar on
Monday, as risk sentiment improved after a week of turmoil on hopes major central banks would launch fresh
stimulus measures to lift their sluggish economies.
The Japanese currency fell for a third straight session versus the greenback, while the Swiss unit
slid to a two-week low against the dollar.
Optimism about government action to calm U.S. recession concerns, triggered by last week's inversion
of the bond yield curve, grew ahead of the Federal Reserve's symposium later in the week in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, where analysts said central bankers could announce new measures.
China also unveiled interest rate reforms expected to lower corporate borrowing costs, which helped
lift the market's mood, while the prospect of Germany's coalition government ditching its balanced budget
rule to take on new debt and launch stimulus steps also boosted risk appetite.
"We think the more accommodative central bank backdrop should help insulate the downside in risk
markets," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York.
In afternoon trading, the dollar rose 0.3% against the yen to 106.66 yen, helping push the
dollar index 0.2% higher on the day to 98.358.
Scotiabank, in a research note, said the dollar/yen pair is showing signs of stabilizing from a
technical viewpoint, but the longer-run indicators remain bearishly aligned for the greenback.
"We would prefer to see additional dollar gains through the close of this week to confirm last week's
reversal and think a daily close above 106.80 yen... would support the outlook for dollar strength," the
bank said.
The euro, meanwhile, fell 0.1% versus the greenback at $1.1079, after falling 1% last week, its
biggest weekly drop since early July.
Against the Swiss franc, the dollar climbed 0.3% to 0.9816 franc. Sight deposits at the Swiss
National Bank posted another big weekly rise, indicating more intervention from policymakers.

Investor optimism is likely to be capped before a speech by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell later this week
at the Jackson Hole conference.
Strategists believe his comments will be aimed at reassuring nervous markets that the Fed will remain
in an easing stance and set the stage for more rate cuts after a quarter-percentage-point rate cut in
"The Jackson Hole summit would be the perfect venue for the Fed to set or reset market expectations,"
said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management.
"If they're committed to lowering interest rates in September, we should hear central bankers downplay
the improvement in spending and retail sales."
Money markets are pricing in a cumulative 67 basis points of rate cuts from the Fed by the end of the

Currency bid prices at 3:53PM (1953 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Previous Change
Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1077 $1.1089 -0.11% -3.42% +1.1113 +1.1077
Dollar/Yen JPY= 106.6500 106.3600 +0.27% -3.27% +106.6900 +106.2500
Euro/Yen EURJPY= 118.14 117.96 +0.15% -6.40% +118.4700 +117.8700
Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9815 0.9782 +0.34% +0.01% +0.9820 +0.9774
Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2131 1.2149 -0.15% -4.90% +1.2172 +1.2105
Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3327 1.3270 +0.43% -2.27% +1.3332 +1.3252
Australian/Doll AUD= 0.6762 0.6780 -0.27% -4.07% +0.6799 +0.6763
Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.0874 1.0848 +0.24% -3.38% +1.0898 +1.0850
Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.9128 0.9129 -0.01% +1.60% +0.9169 +0.9113
NZ NZD= 0.6402 0.6427 -0.39% -4.69% +0.6443 +0.6404
Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.9786 9.0110 -0.36% +3.93% +9.0163 +8.9606
Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.9468 9.9933 -0.47% +0.41% +10.0007 +9.9440
Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.6853 9.6560 +0.17% +8.05% +9.6868 +9.6466
Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.7303 10.7124 +0.17% +4.55% +10.7464 +10.7089

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)

First Published: 2019-08-19 03:06:41
Updated 2019-08-19 22:06:15

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