LONDON—Australian and New Zealand dollars slipped from highs hit overnight, and the dollar fell versus the yen on Thursday, in what analysts said was profit-taking following a strong rally.
The U.S. dollar index was flat on the day at 1051 GMT, at 93.669.
Versus the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.3 percent at 114. having slipped from 114.695 the pair reached on Wednesday, which was the yen’s weakest in four years.
The yen, which had been weakening against major peers since late September, also reversed its recent losses versus the Australian dollar on Thursday. The Australian dollar hit its strongest versus the yen since 2018 overnight, before retreating.
There was no clear trigger for the reversal, but Jeremy Stretch, head of G10 FX strategy at CIBC said that weakness in Asian equities and a pullback in risk appetite may have played a role.
“We’ve seen a significant run in some of the yen crosses, Aussie-yen being an obvious catalyst, and so we’re just seeing a little bit of a consolidation as risk has been under a little bit of pressure overnight,” he said.
Asian stocks slipped on Thursday as the upbeat mood that carried the Dow Jones and bitcoin to record highs a day earlier ran out of steam, replaced by fresh worries about the weakening Chinese property sector as a possible default by China Evergrande Group looms within days.
European shares opened lower and U.S stock index futures pointed to a weaker open for Wall Street.
CIBC’s Stretch said he expects the pullback to be temporary, and for the Australian and New Zealand dollars to continue gaining.
At 1058 GMT, the Australian dollar was down 0.4 percent against the U.S. dollar at $0.7489, compared to the $0.75465 it reached overnight.
The New Zealand dollar was also down 0.3 percent.
Britain’s pound was down just 0.1 percent against the dollar, at $1.3803, supported by expectations that the Bank of England will raise rates.
The euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.16405, still close to Tuesday’s three-week peak of $1.1670.
Turkey’s lira weakened to a record low, beyond 9.45 against the U.S. dollar, after the central bank cut rates by a bigger than expected 200 basis points.
In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin was down around 0.6 percent at $65,609. On Wednesday it hit a new all-time high of $67,016.50.
Market players say the latest wave of buying has been supported by the launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with investors betting this will open a path to greater investment from both retail and institutional investors.
The cryptocurrency ether rose to an all-time high of $4320.34 on Thursday.
By Elizabeth Howcroft