The dollar fell to around ¥109.70 in late Tokyo trading Thursday, amid persistent concerns over the new coronavirus outbreak mainly in China.
At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥109.72-73, down from ¥109.87-87 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.0879-0879, down from $1.0914-0914, and at ¥119.37-37, down from ¥119.91-92.
In overseas trading, the dollar hovered above ¥110 thanks to a slight easing of fears over the spread of the virus.
The greenback, however, plunged to around ¥109.80 just before 9 a.m. in Tokyo, as the government of Hubei province announced a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths in the Chinese province at the center of the virus crisis.
After retaking ¥109.90 later in the morning, mainly supported by real demand-backed buying, the U.S. currency eased to around ¥109.80 in the afternoon and to about ¥109.70 in late trading.
“It was believed, until the previous day, that the spread of the coronavirus infections was slowing down. Now many people are alarmed,” said an official at a bank-affiliated securities firm.
After some recovery from the early morning tumble, “the dollar-yen pair lost ground as players grew risk-averse following drops on major stock markets in Asia,” an official at a think tank said.