NZ dollar slides to seven month low against yen as traders bet against Bank of Japan intervention

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest level against the yen in more than seven months as risk aversion increased the allure of the Japanese currency amid speculation the country's central bank won't intervene to push it lower.

The kiwi touched ¥72.87 and was trading at ¥73.45 at 8am in Wellington, from 74.43 yen yesterday. The local currency slipped to 67.78USc from 68.24USc yesterday.

The New Zealand dollar has dropped 4.6% against the yen so far this week as traders exit bets for its decline, given doubts that the Bank of Japan will intervene to halt its rally. Traders are betting the central bank won't intervene in the currency or add to its stimulus package before the G7 meeting in Japan on May 26-27, given it faced criticism for its actions at the previous G20 meeting. Comments from Japanese officials expressing their concern about the yen's advance have so far failed to deter traders from pushing it higher.

"The main theme this week has been the relentless strength of the yen and that has continued over the last 24 hours, indeed accelerated," Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Jason Wong said in a note. "Japanese officials have been out in force trying to jawbone the yen weaker. Those cries for a reversal have gone unheeded, with the market discounting the possibility of any intervention at current levels, where the yen remains very cheap taking a longer term perspective.

"Furthermore, it hasn't just been speculators buying yen, exporters have been repatriating funds and no doubt the stronger yen trend has encouraged a rise in target hedge ratios for exporters and Japanese investment funds, which is helping fuel the currency strength."

Today, currency analysts will be keeping an eye on any comment on the outlook for monetary policy in the US from Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen who is part of a panel discussion at International House, a New York nonprofit that seeks to bring together students from different countries, along with former Fed chairmen Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker. It will be the first joint public speaking appearance by the four Fed leaders.

Fed Kansas City president Esther George is also speaking about the US economy in Nebraska, and Fed New York president William Dudley will speak tonight about the economy at the University of Bridgeport.

In New Zealand today, the government's monthly financial statements for the eight months through February will be released at 10am.

The New Zealand dollar advanced to 90.27Ac from 89.64 cents yesterday. It fell to 59.59 euro cents from 59.82 cents, slid to 48.22 British pence from 48.31 pence, and declined to 4.3785 yuan 4.4151 yuan.