Dollar up against yen as new Japan PM sworn in

PHOTO: Dollar up against yen as new Japan PM sworn in

NEW YORK - The dollar rose against the yen Wednesday as Shinzo Abe was sworn in as prime minister amid expectations the Bank of Japan would initiate more monetary easing steps under his leadership.

The dollar stood at 85.60 yen(S$1.35) around 2200 GMT, compared to 84.83 yen late Monday.

In early Asian trading hours earlier, the greenback soared past 85.00 yen for the first time since April 2011.

"USD/JPY soared today after Shinzo Abe was officially elected Prime Minister of Japan," according to BK Asset Management. "Right out of the gate, he made it clear that fighting deflation is their number 1 priority."

The Japanese currency has been on the slide as Abe - whose Liberal Democratic Party recently won a landslide election victory - steps up pressure on the central bank to take bold easing steps.

Abe swept to power on a hawkish platform of getting tough on diplomacy while fixing the economy with active fiscal spending and monetary easing.

The euro was also up against the yen, reaching 113.19 yen around 2200 GMT, up from 111.87 yen on Christmas Eve.

The common European currency gained against the dollar, standing at US$1.3223(S$1.64) late Wednesday compared to $1.3183 late Monday.

In other currencies, the dollar slipped to 0.9133 Swiss francs(S$1.20), while the pound rose to US$1.6134.