The yen is starting March how it ended February: as the world’s best-performing major currency.
Investors continued to snap up the Japanese currency as a haven Tuesday following a decline in U.S. stocks, even after the People’s Bank of China announced Monday it would cut the amount of cash the nation’s lenders must lock away. Hedge funds and other large speculators ramped up bullish yen bets to a four-year high last week, as the currency headed toward its best month versus the dollar since the financial crisis. Global equities have lost more than $6 trillion in value this year.
The yen rose 0.2 percent to 112.45 per dollar at 9:24 a.m. in Tokyo, after a 7.5 percent surge in February, the best month since October 2008. It gained 0.1 percent to 122.38 per euro after earlier reaching 122.09, the strongest level since April 2013.
The PBOC’s move marked the first time in four months that the central bank has used one of its traditional monetary-easing tools amid mounting signs of a weaker economy and a stock market in near-free fall.