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Dollar tumbles to below ¥103.40

JIJI

The dollar tumbled below ¥103.40 in Tokyo trading Friday, reflecting worries about the course of the economies of China and other emerging nations.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥103.35-38, down from ¥104.33-34 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.3686-3689, up from $1.3588-3589, and at ¥141.48-50, down from ¥141.77-80.

The greenback remained weak at around ¥103.40 in early trading after briefly falling below the ¥103 line in New York overnight due to concerns over the Chinese economy and weaker than expected U.S. economic indicators released Thursday, including weekly jobless claims and existing home sales for December.

Dollar selling versus the yen accelerated in line with falls in the New York stock prices and U.S. Treasury yields as investors shunned risk assets.

In Tokyo midmorning trading, the dollar temporarily climbed to levels close to ¥103.60, supported by purchases from Japanese importers.

The U.S. currency came under renewed selling pressure in the afternoon after the Nikkei stock average widened losses.

The dollar attracted some buybacks in late hours after European players participated in transactions.

Many market players believe that the dollar is still on an upward trend vis-a-vis the yen in the medium to long term, market sources said.

“The scenario for U.S. economic recovery remains intact and a pessimistic mood prevailed only temporarily,” an official of a bank-affiliated brokerage said.

Nevertheless, an official of a Japanese bank noted that “it is expected to take time before the (currency) market recovers from the turmoil” in view of the setback of U.S. stock prices.