Yen falls further as BoJ pick backs inflation target

NEW YORK (AFP) - The yen sank further on Monday after the nominee to lead the Bank of Japan reiterated his vow to ramp up monetary easing and pursue higher inflation, while the euro gained slightly on the dollar.

At 2100 GMT (5am Singapore time) the dollar was buying 96.26 yen (S$121), compared with 95.97 yen late Friday. The euro pushed to 125.59 yen from 124.83 yen.

The euro pushed to $1.3046 from $1.3004.

"Despite all the bad news... the euro refuses to go down," said Mr Boris Schlossberg of BK Asset Management, referring to poor growth and production data from the eurozone on Monday.

"One possible reason for the unit's strength is the assumption by the market that the worst may be over for the eurozone.

"Furthermore, the strength and robustness of the US economy may be viewed as engine for growth for the eurozone," he added.

The yen fell further after Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, the finance veteran picked to head the Bank of Japan, said that under his stewardship the BoJ would move to meet the two-percent inflation target policymakers adopted in January.

"Since monetary easing actions so far haven't been sufficient, (I) will take every measure possible to achieve a two percent target if approved as governor," Mr Kuroda told a parliamentary confirmation hearing.

However, he threw cold water on talk of buying foreign bonds, effectively an easing measure as it would require selling huge amounts of yen to purchase the foreign-denominated debt.

Such purchases would aggravate months-long criticism from abroad that Tokyo was devaluing the yen to help exporters, risking a global face-off in which rival nations drive down their currencies.

The British pound was slightly lower, falling to $1.4915 from $1.4921. The dollar slipped to 0.9472 Swiss francs from 0.9511 francs.

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