Yen makes Broad Gains on Continued Swine Flu Concerns

Concerns about the recent increase in global reports of confirmed swine flu deaths have compelled investors to further reduce their positions in risky currencies. As such, the Japanese Yen rose to a 7-week high versus the single currency Euro, as well as a 1-month peak against the U.S. Dollar. It has been reported that the swine flu virus is blamed for the deaths of more than 150 individuals in Mexico, alone. Authorities from the World Health Organization are considering a move to declare a pandemic situation, given the seriousness of the outbreak and the global ramifications. As reported at 12:27 p.m. (JST) in Japan, the U.S. Dollar lost .4% versus the Japanese Yen, trading at 96.26 Yen, while the Euro lost .7%, trading at 125.24 Yen on the EBS platform.

The New Zealand and Australian Dollars lost heavily versus the Japanese Yen on those global concerns. Investors believe that the outbreak will have a significant detrimental effect on global trade, travel and tourism, and overall consumer confidence. The Australian Dollar lost 1.2%, trading at 67.71 Yen, while the N.Z. Dollar lost 2.0%, trading at 53.43 Yen. In recent months, both the NZD and the AUD had benefited in the global markets from investor perception that the world-wide recession was finally waning.