Yen Strengthens Amid Iraq Concerns

The yen climbed against the other major currencies in the Asian session on Monday amid escalating violence across Iraq that ignited supply concerns, triggering safe haven buying.

Iraq's military is trying to stall the battlefield advances of Sunni Muslim insurgents who had captured territory north of Baghdad. Meanwhile, the insurgents posted photos on their internet forum showing executions of Iraqi security forces. The deepening of the crisis in Iraq has hurt investment in markets and disrupted oil flow.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 is currently down 94.01 points or 0.62 percent at 15,003.

The yen strengthened to more than a 2-week high of 113.10 against the Swiss franc, from an early low of 113.41. At Friday's close, the yen was trading at 113.30. If the yen extends its gain, it is likely to find resistance around the 112.95 zone.

Against the Australian dollar,the yen climbed to a 4-day high of 95.58 from an early low of 95.92. Last week's closing quote of the aussie-yen pair was 95.83. The next possible upside target level for the yen is seen at 95.14.

The yen rose to 137.80 against the euro, 172.93 against the pound, 101.81 against the U.S. dollar and 93.78 against the Canadian dollar, from early lows of 138.19, 173.22, 102.06 and 94.00, respectively. The yen closed last week's deals at 138.15 against the euro, 173.04 against the pound, 101.98 against the greenback and 93.95 against the loonie. The yen is likely to find resistance around 136.91 against the euro,170.79 against the pound, 101.54 against the greenback and 93.38 against the loonie.

Looking ahead, the Bank of Japan monthly report is due at 1:00 am ET.

At 5:00 am ET, Eurozone final consumer price inflation report for May is due.

In the New York session, Canadian existing home sales and U.S. industrial production for May and the NAHB housing market index for June are due to be released.

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