Yen Rises

The yen rose against the euro as stocks dropped and a report showed the 15-member region’s retail sales fell for a fifth month, prompting investors to cut higher- yielding investments funded in Japan’s currency.

The yen also gained against the British pound after a report showed U.K. consumer confidence slid last month to the weakest in at least four years. The euro was close to a two- week low against the dollar as economists forecast the European Central Bank will cut its benchmark rate by half a percentage point to 2.75 percent tomorrow.

The yen rose 0.6 percent to 117.77 versus the euro at 7:35 a.m. in New York, from 118.44 yesterday. It traded at 93.14 per dollar, from 93.18. The euro lost 0.6 percent to $1.2638.

European retail sales declined a worse-than-expected 2.1 percent in October from a year earlier, according to the European Union’s statistics office.

The yen also rose against the New Zealand dollar and the Swedish krone. It typically gains when investors reverse so- called carry trades, where they borrow funds in a country with low interest rates and invest in those with higher lending rates. The benchmark interest rate of 0.3 percent in Japan compares with 3.25 percent in the euro region and 6.5 percent in New Zealand and 3.75 percent in Sweden.

The pound fell for a third day against the euro after a report showed U.K. consumer confidence slid last month, giving the Bank of England more reason to cut interest rates tomorrow.,
12/3/2008 5:22:34 AM