Currency at 2-week high as Japanese stimulus expectations dialled back

Most economists surveyed by Reuters expect the Bank of Japan to expand its asset purchases and cut rates further into negative territory at its two-day meeting that ends on Friday.

Yen

The yen hit a two-week high against the euro and rose more than 1 percent against the dollar on Tuesday, as traders dialled back expectations of how much new stimulus Japanese authorities will inject into an ailing economy.

Most economists surveyed by Reuters expect the Bank of Japan to expand its asset purchases and cut rates further into negative territory at its two-day meeting that ends on Friday.

Meanwhile the government is compiling a spending package that some sources have estimated could be worth up to 20 trillion yen.

Direct fiscal stimulus may be much lower, with a Nikkei report on Tuesday citing a figure of around 6 trillion yen over the next few years. The total size of the package could be announced as soon as Aug. 2, Nikkei said.

Direct stimulus of 6 trillion yen would be double the amount initially planned but would fall short of market expectations, analysts said.

"There is some position unwinding going on with investors toning down expectations of how much fiscal stimulus will be provided," said Yujiro Goto, currency strategist at Nomura.

"We are also seeing not much pressure from the Japanese government on the BOJ to ease. All this is helping the yen."

The dollar slid 1.7 percent against the yen to 103.995 , its lowest since July 14 while the euro skidded 1.5 percent to 114.465 yen, its lowest since July 12.

The yen has weakened in the past few weeks on growing expectations that Japanese authorities would provide both fiscal and monetary stimulus to kick-start inflation.

Some had been hoping for helicopter money, where the central bank would underwrite government debt, though policymakers have denied this.

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