TOKYO: The dollar eased against the yen in Asia on Wednesday after an initial boost from upbeat US data as risk aversion grew with Tokyo share prices turning down.
The greenback fetched 97.47 yen in Tokyo, against 97.80 yen in New York late Tuesday. It was trading above the 98-yen level earlier in the day after figures pointed to more strength in the US economy and as worries temporarily eased over a credit crunch in China.
The euro weakened to $1.3069 and 127.43 yen against $1.3083 and 127.95 yen in US trade.
US figures showed new orders for durable goods surged 3.6 percent in May on the back of strong aircraft sales, while house prices and consumer confidence also saw healthy rises.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock index initially jumped about 1.41 percent but it turned down in late morning trade. The benchmark index slipped 1.04 percent by the finish. Yen trading and the index are closely interlinked as the value of the currency affects the profitability of Japanese exporters.
A stronger yen tends to weigh on Tokyo shares.
“The Nikkei had a strong start, but it’s losing steam, leading to risk-averse yen-buying,” Junichi Ishikawa, market analyst at IG Securities in Tokyo, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Osamu Takashima, head of forex strategy at Citigroup Global Market Japan, said “the main scenario for the (dollar-yen) pair is sideways trading for now but the risk lies on the downside”.
The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It sank to Sg$1.2715 from Sg$1.2763 the previous day, to 43.34 Philippine pesos from 43.68 pesos and to Tw$30.08 from Tw$30.16.
The greenback gained to 31.07 Thai baht from 30.99 baht, to 59.86 Indian rupees from 59.74 rupees, and to 10,007 Indonesian rupiah from 9,943 rupiah.
The Australian dollar rose to 92.66 US cents from 92.20 cents while the Chinese yuan was almost flat at 15.84 yen.