The dollar moved lower against the other major currencies on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan both left their monetary policies unchanged and as fears of a potential Brexit continued to dampen market sentiment.
USD/JPY plummeted 1.60% to 104.30, the lowest level since August 2014 after BOJ officials voted to continue expanding the monetary base at an annual rate of about ¥80 billion.
At the conclusion of its monetary policy meeting on Thursday, the BoJ also flagged the EU referendum on June 23 as a key geopolitical threat to the Japanese economy, along with the “European debt problem”.
The decision came after the Fed also cited the referendum as a factor in its decision on Wednesday to keep interest rates on hold.
The dollar had already weakened against the other major currencies when the Fed kept rates unchanged and lowered forecasts for how much they expect to hike interest rates in the next few years.
EUR/USD held steady at 1.1255.
The dollar was higher against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.30% at 1.4166 and was little changed against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF at 0.9617.
Market participants were also eyeing the Bank of England’s policy decision due later in the trading session.
No changes to monetary policy are expected but the meeting minutes could contain a fresh warning about the risks posed by next week’s referendum.
Data earlier in the day showed that U.K. retail sales rose 0.9% in May, compared to expectations for an uptick of 0.2%.
Also Thursday, the Swiss National Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low -0.75%, in line with expectations, and reiterated that it is still prepared to take further action to weaken the franc.
The Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down -0.51% at 0.7371, while NZD/USD added 0.17% to 0.7045.
Earlier Thursday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said the number of employed people rose by 17,900 in May, beating expectations for an increase of 15,000, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7% last month, in line with expectations.
In New Zealand, official data showed that gross domestic product rose 0.7% in the first quarter, exceeding expectations for an increase of 0.5%. Year-on-year, GDP rose by 2.8% in the last quarter, compared to expectations for a growth rate of 2.6%.
Elsewhere, USD/CAD gained 0.40% to trade at at a nearly two-week high of 1.2965.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.12% at 94.56.