The yen strengthened against most of its 16 major peers as Japanese stocks slid on concern the global economy is slowing, boosting demand for safer assets.
Japanâ€™s currency gained for a third-day against the dollar before U.S. data this week forecast to show manufacturing activity and hiring remained limited. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said at an annual forum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that further bond purchases under quantitative easing shouldnâ€™t be ruled out. Australiaâ€™s dollar fell to a five-week low after the nationâ€™s retail sales unexpectedly declined and Chinaâ€™s manufacturing contracted at the fastest pace since March 2009.
â€œThere is safe-haven buying in the markets,â€ said Mike Jones, a currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington. â€œInvestors donâ€™t want to buy the U.S. dollar because of worries about QE3, so thatâ€™s why the yen is the safe- haven currency of choice.â€