The dollar rose above ¥105.80 in Tokyo trading Friday, buoyed by safe-haven buying amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus.
At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥105.84, up from ¥103.68 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.1179-1181, down from $1.1310-1311, and at ¥118.32-35, up from ¥117.27-28.
Usually the yen is bought amid a risk-off mood. “When fears are excessively strong, the dollar is preferred as an international payments currency,” an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm said.
“Amid strong demand for the dollar, the currency was solid despite a sharp drop in Japan’s Nikkei stock average,” a Japanese bank official said.
In Tokyo stock trading Friday, the 225-issue Nikkei average tumbled 6.08 percent to close at its lowest level since November 2016.
“The yen’s status as a safe-haven asset has waned amid the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Japan,” an official of a foreign exchange margin trading service firm said.
The dollar also benefited from an injection of massive funds by the Bank of Japan, dealers said. The central bank’s move “helped stabilize markets and calm sentiment,” an official at a Japanese bank said.