Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Dollar dips to around ¥110.70 in Tokyo on U.S.-Japan trade fears

JIJI

The dollar softened to around ¥110.70 in late Tokyo trading Friday after being battered chiefly by concerns about trade friction between the United States and Japan.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥110.74-74, down from ¥111.31-32 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.1644-1646, up from $1.1622-1623, and at ¥128.95-96, down from ¥129.38-38.

The dollar fell to around ¥110.40 in early trading, adding to overseas losses the previous day linked to a Wall Street Journal report that signaled U.S. President Donald Trump might be ready for a trade fight with Japan, traders said.

The greenback returned to around ¥110.60 in midmorning trading, supported by real demand-backed purchases.

In late trading, the U.S. currency cut losses further to reach about ¥110.70 in line with a rise in U.S. interest rates.

“The dollar was sluggish against the yen as overall market sentiment deteriorated due to a typhoon and a big earthquake” that hit Japan, said a currency market brokerage official, referring to Thursday’s Hokkaido quake.

But another brokerage official said, “Position-adjusting yen sales emerged ahead of the weekend” in a reversal from risk aversion-inspired yen purchases that increased on global trade woes.

Currency market players are closely following stock price developments as “the U.S. stock market is unstable due to a slump in high-tech issues,” an official of a foreign-affiliated securities firm said.

“Risk aversion is likely to intensify if the U.S. stock market loses ground,” said an official of a major life insurer.