Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Greenback slips to around ¥110.30 in Tokyo on weak U.S. and Chinese economic data

JIJI

The dollar weakened to around ¥110.30 in Tokyo trading late Friday after being battered by downbeat U.S. economic data.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥110.31-32, down from ¥111.06-07 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.1278-1279, down from $1.1286-1286, and at ¥124.42-43, down from ¥125.35-36.

Data that on Thursday showed U.S. retail sales posted their worst drop in nine years in December, fueled concerns about slowing U.S. growth.

The retail sales data “put downward pressure on the dollar against the yen during Tokyo trading hours as a big negative surprise,” an official at a Japanese bank said.

The dollar was also pressured by falling Japanese stock prices and weak Chinese economic data. The currency briefly fell below ¥110.30.

In afternoon trading, dollar-yen movements lacked direction due to crosscurrents of buying and selling to adjust positions ahead of the weekend, traders said.

Market players retreated to the sidelines to await U.S. data due out Friday, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State manufacturing index. They want to “see the course of the U.S. economy,” an official of a major securities firm said.

Traders are also awaiting the outcome of high-level trade talks between the United States and China, an official at a foreign-exchange brokerage house said.