The dollar fell to around ¥109.60 in Tokyo trading Thursday, weighed on by re-ignited fears over the spread of a deadly viral outbreak.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥109.60, down from ¥110.00 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.1088-1089, up slightly from $1.1085-1086, and at ¥121.54, down from ¥121.95.

The dollar slipped through ¥109.70 in the morning, with investors renewing their concerns over the adverse economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak in the wake of media reports about increases in sickened people and deaths in China.

The dollar resisted falling further in midmorning trading backed by real demand-backed buying. But players later enhanced dollar selling in view of poor performance of the 225-issue Nikkei average amid the Chinese virus scare. The greenback fell below ¥109.50 temporarily.

“Investors have been negatively reacting to the epidemic in China, because the outbreak was ill-timed as it came just ahead of the start of the Lunar New Year holiday on Friday,” said an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.

Meanwhile, an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm observed that the spread of the coronavirus is used as an excuse for selling risk assets for a market correction.

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