The Japanese yen reached a high of 77.90 yen against the US dollar this afternoon as rapidly changing developments in the eurozone crisis saw risk appetite decrease and investors moving into the perceived safe haven of the Japanese yen.
However, the US dollar was also slightly weaker this afternoon as comments from Ben Bernanke continued to weigh on the currency. Yesterday evening, after the two-day FOMC meeting, Mr Bernanke announced that the prospect of additional stimulus remains on the table. This boosted speculation that the bank is heading toward a third round of quantitative easing.
On the economic data front, it is currently a bank holiday in Japan, while the US saw weekly jobless claims fall and ISM non-manufacturing figures come in lower than expected at 52.9 in October compared to 53 the previous month. Additional data saw factory orders increase 0.3% in September after an upwardly revised gain of 0.1% the previous month.