Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Dollar eases to around ¥108.50 yen in Tokyo

JIJI

The dollar fell to around ¥108.50 in Tokyo trading Wednesday, pressured by renewed worry about the U.S.-China trade war.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥108.47-47, down from ¥109.09 at the same time Tuesday. The euro was at $1.1077-1078, against $1.1076-1076, and at ¥120.16-17, down from 120.¥83-84.

Expectations for an early conclusion of the so-called phase one trade deal between the United States and China receded after U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he finds it better to wait until the 2021 presidential election to strike the preliminary agreement, according to traders.

The dollar was pushed down to levels below ¥108.50 by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ comment indicating that the United States will slap tariffs on Chinese goods on Dec. 15 as planned if the two nations fail to ink the deal.

“Investors had been too optimistic about the U.S.-China trade talks,” said an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.

A currency dealer also pointed out that a drop in U.S. long-term interest rates in off-hours trading triggered dollar selling in the late afternoon.

“Speculative selling will hit the greenback If U.S. economic indicators due out soon, such as Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s jobs data and the Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index, proved weaker than expected,” a Japanese bank official noted.