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Yen rises in Asia trade, euro slips from recent highs

TOKYO--The yen rose in Asia Friday, extending gains in New York on concerns about China's economy and the Ukraine crisis, while the euro fell after the head of Europe's Central Bank pledged to take action to fight deflation.

The dollar fell to 101.64 yen in afternoon trade from 101.85 yen late in New York and well below 102.73 yen in Tokyo earlier Thursday.

And the euro fell to 140.86 yen from 141.28 yen in New York and 142.81 Thursday in Tokyo.

The single currency also eased to US$1.3858, from US$1.3870 — after touching a 29-month high of 1.3967 at one point in the previous session.

Investors are also on edge as the Crimea prepares for a referendum Sunday on becoming part of Russia, a vote the West has called illegal.

The euro came under pressure after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said Thursday that the risk of deflation in the eurozone was limited, but said he was ready to act decisively in case inflation expectations shift down.

He also noted that medium and long-term expectations remain anchored to the ECB's objective of just below 2.0 percent but acknowledged “the longer inflation remains low, the higher the probability of such risks emerging”, according to a text of his speech.

The euro on Thursday touched its highest level since late 2011 after upbeat eurozone industrial output data raised hopes for recovery in the troubled economy.

The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to 61.47 Indian rupees from 60.97 rupees on Thursday, to 44.69 Philippine pesos from 44.53 pesos, to 1,072.78 South Korean won from 1,066.79 won, to SG$1.2666 from SG$1.2658, and to 11,418.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,372 rupiah.

But it dipped to 32.32 Thai baht from 32.34 baht.

The Australian dollar bought 90.05 U.S. cents, down from 90.67 cents while the Chinese yuan fell to 16.51 yen from 16.83 yen.

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