(Bloomberg) -- Speculators ramped up their bearish stance on the yen to the highest in nearly a year as the currency extended its slide against the dollar with markets boosting bets on the Federal Reserve hiking rates.

Leveraged funds increased their net-short position on the yen by 10,986 contracts to 53,706, the highest level since June last year, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the week through May 23. The yen has dropped more than 3% in May, the third-worst performance among peers in the Group of 10 against a broadly stronger dollar.

Read more: Yen Weakens Past 140 Per Dollar as Traders See Another Fed Hike

While major central banks have been raising interest rates to curb inflation, the Bank of Japan has maintained ultra loose policy, with Governor Kazuo Ueda repeatedly saying he will patiently continue with monetary easing.

While the rate differential has underscored the divergence in monetary policy and weighed on the yen, some strategists call it undervalued and suggest a reverse in the trend, seeing scope for the BOJ to start updating its yield-curve control in coming months. 

UBS expects Japan’s central bank to tweak its yield-curve control sometime from July to October, leading to 15% jump for the yen by year-end. Societe Generale sees the currency rising 7% in coming few weeks. 

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