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Dollar hits 5-month low in upper 108 yen on Trump's warnings

The U.S. dollar hit a fresh five-month low in the upper 108 yen
range on Thursday in Tokyo following President Donald Trump's remarks
overnight that warned of the firmness of the currency.

At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 109.01-03 yen compared with
109.05-15 yen in New York and 109.66-68 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m.
Wednesday. It moved between 108.73 yen and 109.24 yen during the day,
changing hands most frequently at 108.85 yen.

The euro was quoted at $1.0644-0645 and 116.03-07 yen against
$1.0660-0670 and 116.17-27 yen in New York and $1.0619-0621 and
116.45-49 yen in Tokyo late Wednesday afternoon.

The dollar has been under selling pressure after The Wall Street
Journal reported Wednesday that Trump said in an interview that the
U.S. currency "is getting too strong," dealers said.

Trump was also quoted by the daily as saying, "I do like a
low-interest rate policy," sending U.S. Treasury yields lower.

Lingering geopolitical risks from Syria and North Korea also
increased risk aversion in financial markets, prompting investors to
boost their purchases of the yen, deemed as a relatively safe asset.

But the dollar gathered some steam in the afternoon to retake
the 109 yen line as fears over the Korean Peninsula eased at one
point, dealers said.

North Korea earlier announced a "big and important event" to
foreign reporters who have been invited to the country ahead of the
105th birthday of late state founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday. But it
turned out to be the opening of a new street in the capital,
according to news reports from Pyongyang.

Takuya Kanda, senior researcher at the Gaitame.com Research
Institute, said that relatively solid performances in Asian stock
markets other than Japan also helped ease a risk-averse mood, causing
buying of the dollar.

But "the dollar is unlikely to rebound sharply as downward
pressure remained after Trump's remarks," Kanda said.

The euro lost some footing against both the dollar and the yen
toward the end of Tokyo time. (April 13)