The Japanese yen declined across the board on Monday morning in New York as the better-than-expected US data on manufacturing and construction spending reduced the demand for lower-yielding yen.
Manufacturing activity in July expanded at a slower pace than in the previous month, the Institute for Supply Management revealed in a report today, although the index of activity in the sector fell by less than economists had expected.
The ISM said its manufacturing index fell to a reading of 55.5 in July from 56.2 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating continued growth in the sector. Economists had expected the index to show a more notable decrease to a reading of 54.2.
At the same time, the Commerce Department report showed that construction spending edged up 0.1 percent to an annual rate of $836.0 billion in June from the revised May estimate of $834.8 billion. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected spending to decrease by 0.8 percent.
The yen tumbled to 137.70 against the pound around 10:00 am ET, the lowest level since May 13. On the downside, the Japanese currency may find support around the 139.90 level. The pound-yen pair that closed last week’s deals at 135.65 is presently quoted at 137.58.
The yen slipped to a 4-day low of 114.16 against the euro at this time and a move below its July 28th low of 114.75 could set its weakest mark in 2-1/2 months. The euro-yen pair, which ended Friday’s deals at 112.69, is presently quoted at 114.10.
The yen also reached as low as 83.44 against the Swiss franc, 79.26 against the Australian dollar, 84.84 against the Canadian dollar, 63.66 against the NZ dollar and 86.81 against the US dollar before moving sideways around 10:00 am ET.