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Dollar briefly rallies above ¥109.50 on Trump remarks

JIJI

The dollar temporarily bounced back above ¥109.50 in Tokyo trading Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he prefers a strong dollar, on the heels of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remarks suggesting the opposite position.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥109.03, little changed from ¥109.02-03 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.2473, up from $1.2418, and at ¥136.01, up from ¥135.39.

The dollar shot up from four-and-a-half-month lows around ¥108.50 to around ¥109.70 in New York trading overnight after Trump told CNBC television that the greenback is “going to get stronger and stronger.” He added, “Ultimately I want to see a strong dollar.”

The greenback later eased to around ¥109.20 after a fall in long-term U.S. Treasury yields but gathered upward momentum again in Tokyo, climbing as high as around ¥109.70 in the morning, supported by Japanese importers’ purchases, traders said.

However, the U.S. currency erased the earlier gains later in Tokyo. “There are a lot of sell orders below ¥110,” an official at a foreign exchange brokerage house said.

The dollar earlier this week tumbled below ¥109 for the first time since Sept. 11 after the Treasury chief said a weaker dollar is good for U.S. trade.

Traders are now focusing on Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later on Friday.