The dollar hit its lowest level in more than three months Friday in Tokyo amid lingering worries about the global stock market decline.
The greenback plunged below 133 yen briefly for the first time since May 12 before settling at 135.40-135.42 yen at 5 p.m., down from 135.58-60 yen late Thursday. It dipped as far low as 132.95 yen.
The dollar fell for the eighth trading day, keeping pace with falling U.S. share prices. Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average plummeted 100.15 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,682.22 Thursday.
Precipitous falls in New York share prices in recent weeks mirror a switch away from dollar-based securities, said Naohiko Nakajima, vice president of Bank of America.
Nakajima blamed much of the dollar’s weak showing on the financial turmoil in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. Hedge funds have suffered heavy losses on their investment in Russia and other emerging markets, and are now liquidating their long dollar positions to lock in gains to cover the losses, Nakajima said.
Many hedge funds have borrowed yen funds heavily in recent years, trying to capitalize on Japan’s low interest rates. The time has come for them to liquidate their short-yen positions, Nakajima noted.
The market was keeping a close tab on a meeting of Japanese and U.S. financial officials in San Francisco on Friday, trying to assess whether they were opting to hammer out a significant accord on concerted efforts to address global economic woes, he said.
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