Dollar, yen supported with global optimism tempered
* Stocks decline, dent appetite for risk
* Yen advance stemmed by Japanese corporate selling
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) – The yen and the dollar inched up on Wednesday as optimism about a global economic recovery ebbed after weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data, stemming demand for other currencies.
The U.S. and Japanese units also drew support from Asian stocks on Wednesday as they tracked Wall Street lower. The U.S. stocks benchmarks slid the previous day after data showed that U.S. retails sales fell 1.1 percent in March against economists’ forecast for a 0.3 percent rise. [.N] [ID:nN14419657]
When equity prices rise, demand for currencies perceived as safe havens such as the dollar and yen have tended to wane while demand for the euro and commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar have risen. The converse has often been true.
“Given the state of the stock market, sentiment is skewed towards further gains for the yen, which has broken through recent ranges,” said a trader at a European bank.
“Corporate demand for foreign currencies has risen after the yen’s appreciation, but the recent breakthrough by the yen also presents a key yen buying opportunity for speculators,” the trader said.
The dollar was little changed at 98.99 yen after touching a near two-week low of 98.72 yen on trading platform EBS earlier.
The euro dipped 0.2 percent to 130.93 yen and shed 0.1 percent to $1.3241 EUR.
The Australian dollar fell 0.3 percent to $0.7190.
The Aussie lost 0.1 percent to 71.12 yen after hitting a six-month high of 73.49 yen the previous day.
The Aussie climbed to six-month highs against the dollar and yen earlier in the week partly on optimism that a rebound in the Chinese economy would drive demand commodities. China releases first quarter GDP data on Thursday.
Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average .N225 dropped 0.9 percent on Wednesday. [.T] U.S. stock futures SPc1 shed 0.7 percent, pointing to a lower open on Wall Street later in the day.