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September 24, 2017

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US dollar eases against yen, retreats from 5-year high

SINGAPORE--The dollar fell against the yen in Asia Friday, extending losses seen in New York, as the unit retreated from a five-year high despite a broadly upbeat set of U.S. economic data.

The greenback bought 104.13 yen in Singapore afternoon trade, compared with 104.69 yen in New York on Thursday and well down from the 105.41 yen mark touched earlier this week, which was the highest since October 2008.

The euro dipped to US$1.3659, from US$1.3665, and to 142.21 yen from 143.06 yen. Japanese markets are closed for a public holiday.

US economic reports Thursday included data showing the strongest U.S. construction spending in four years as well as a fall in jobless claims.

And while manufacturing activity slowed in December it still remained solid, raising hopes the economy will continue to pick up in 2014.

"With the slate of positive data and some risk aversion in markets, we found the dollar trading higher against risk currencies and falling against the yen," said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

"Industrial production, retail sales, nonfarm payrolls, construction — all have run sharply northward after an autumn of broad-based malaise," DBS Bank said in a commentary.

It said while the data released was "uniformly strong" and comes on the heels of the decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve in December to begin scaling back its bond-buying program, investors are tempering expectations of a dramatic rise in the dollar this year.

The greenback was mostly higher against Asia-Pacific currencies.

The dollar rose to SG$1.2676 from SG$1.2656 on Thursday, to 1,054.70 South Korean won from 1,051.30 won and to 44.64 Philippine pesos from 44.32 pesos.

It edged up to 62.42 Indian rupees from 61.83 rupees, and to 33.00 Thai baht from 32.92 baht. It eased to 12,130 Indonesian rupiah from 12,163 rupiah. The Austalian dollar fetched 89.79 U.S. cents from 89.15 U.S. cents, while the Chinese yuan was lower at 17.20 yen from 17.40 yen.

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