The Japanese yen slipped against its major counterparts in the Asian session on Thursday, as positive economic data from the U.S. and higher oil prices helped offset some of the fears about the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.
Oil prices climbed ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to discuss a planned increase in output against the backdrop of the new variant that triggered travel restrictions.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank may accelerate tapering of bond purchases in response to high inflation that could last into mid-2022.
The Fed is committed to its price stability goal and would deploy tools to support the economy and to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched.
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that the current COVID-19 vaccines may offer protection against severe cases of new omicron variant like the other variants.
Meanwhile, caution prevailed after U.S. authorities confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in an individual who traveled from South Africa recently.
The yen weakened to 128.21 against the euro and 123.06 against the franc, down from its early 3-day highs of 127.50 and 122.37, respectively. The yen is likely to find support around 131.00 against the euro and 124.5 against the franc.
The yen eased from its prior 2-day high of 112.62 against the greenback and a new 2-month high of 149.45 against the pound and edged down to 113.13 and 150.44, respectively. If the yen drops further, 115.00 and 152.00 are seen as its next support levels against the greenback and the pound, respectively.
The yen dropped to 88.55 against the loonie, 77.18 against the kiwi and 80.54 against the aussie, following its previous near a 2-month high of 87.82, fresh 2-month highs of 76.63 and 79.98, respectively. The next possible support for the yen is seen around 90.00 against the loonie, 80.00 against the kiwi and 82.00 against the aussie.
Looking ahead, Eurozone jobless rate for October is due in the European session.
The U.S. weekly jobless claims for the week ended November 27 will be featured in the New York session.