The Japanese yen continued to advance against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Tuesday, as investors were worried about the continuing slide in crude oil prices, which increased the demand for the safe haven currency.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is currently down 323.01 points or 1.88 percent at 16,874.
Crude oil for February delivery is currently down $0.72 to $45.35 a barrel.
Crude oil plunged amid continued worries of oversupply. Additionally, Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale slashed their price outlook for crude oil.
Meanwhile, data from the Ministry of Finance showed that Japan posted a current account surplus of 433.0 billion yen in November. That beat expectations for a surplus of 139.5 billion yen, following the 833.4 billion yen surplus in October.
Also, the Bank of Japan showed that bank lending in Japan was up 2.7 percent on year in December, coming in at 422.604 trillion yen. The increase was in line with expectations but was smaller than the 2.8 percent gain in November.
Monday, the yen rose 0.18 percent against the euro, 0.06 percent against the pound, 0.20 percent against the Swiss franc and 0.13 percent against the U.S. dollar.
In the Asian trading today, the yen rose to near 2-1/2-month highs of 139.44 against the euro and 116.11 against the Swiss franc, from yesterday’s closing quotes of 140.02 and 116.59, respectively. If the yen extends its uptrend, it is likely to find resistance around 136.50 against the euro and 113.14 against the Swiss franc.
The yen, which closed yesterday’s deals at 179.52 against the pound and 98.80 against the Canadian dollar strengthened to near 2-1/2-month highs of 178.69 and 98.35, respectively. The yen may find resistance around 173.66 against the pound and 95.57 against the loonie.
Against the U.S. and New Zealand dollars, the yen advanced to near 4-week highs of 117.73 and 91.54 from yesterday’s closing quotes of 118.32 and 92.08, respectively. On the upside, 115.22 against the greenback and 89.78 against the kiwi are seen as the next resistance levels for the yen.
Against the Australian dollar, the yen climbed to a 1-week high of 96.04 from yesterday’s closing quote of 96.51. Continuation of bullish trend may lead the yen to a resistance around the 94.80 mark.
The Canadian dollar also extended its fall against its major rivals, tracking the plunge in oil prices.
In the Asian trading today, the Canadian dollar fell to a 6-year low of 1.1977 against the U.S. dollar and more than a 2-week low of 1.4177 against the euro. If the loonie extends its downtrend, it is likely to find support around 1.21 against the greenback and 1.42 against the euro.
Against the Australian dollar, the loonie dropped to nearly a 2-month low of 0.9790 from yesterday’s closing quote of 0.9761. On the downside, 0.98 is seen as the next support level for the loonie.
Looking ahead, the results of Japan economy watchers’ survey for December is due to be released at 1:00 am ET. After an hour, the German wholesale price index for December will be released.
In the European session, U.K. CPI, PPI and retail price index for December are scheduled for release.
In the New York session, U.S. NFIB’s small business index for December is expected. At 2:00 pm ET, U.S. monthly budget statement is due to be published.