Dollar firms, climbs to 2-month high vs yen


The dollar climbed to a two-month high against the yen on Monday as the Bank of Japan's offer last week to buy an unlimited amount of bonds, and an unexpected drop in Japanese May machinery orders, pressured the Japanese currency.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Monday reiterated the central bank's pledge to keep Japanese government bond yields anchored near zero.

The yen was also pressured after Japan's core machinery orders unexpectedly tumbled in May on persistent weakness in the services sector.

"On balance, the weak data is probably weighing on the yen and the move from the BOJ last week is probably also contributing," said Erik Nelson, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The greenback was up 0.19 percent to 114.1 yen, after hitting 114.29 yen, its highest since May 11, earlier in the session.

"At the current level we would not be chasing the move higher here, especially not before earnings," said Alvise Marino, FX strategist at Credit Suisse in New York.

"Dollar-yen, of course, remains very sensitive on the risk front."

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rivals, was up 0.14 percent at 96.143.

"The dollar has been broadly supported over the past couple of days and is showing some mild signs of recovery after weakness in the prior week," Nelson said.

The greenback had gained on Friday after a strong U.S. jobs report supported the idea that the Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates at least once more this year.

Investors will be focused this week on Fed Chair Janet Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Congress on Wednesday and U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar was little changed against its U.S. counterpart while investors awaited a Bank of Canada interest rate decision on Wednesday.

Forecasters are divided on whether the central bank will hike rates but data from the overnight index swaps market show that money markets are almost fully priced for an increase.

"The Canadian dollar was the first currency to reprice in a hawkish direction, and this will also be the first one now to have a bit of a test, so that's the one we will be looking at the most closely," Marino said.

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