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Dollar up on Europe fears, yuan softens on reform

TOKYO -- The dollar edged higher in Asia on Monday as investors track events in Eastern Europe after Crimeans voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, sparking threats of sanctions from the West.

The yuan also softened against the dollar after the Chinese central bank loosened its control of the currency.

In Tokyo afternoon trade, the greenback fetched 101.54 yen, compared with 101.36 yen in New York Friday.

The euro bought US$1.3899 compared with US$1.3906 in U.S. trade while rising to 141.14 yen from 140.73 yen.

The dollar was at 6.1558 yuan on Monday afternoon against 6.1502 on Friday.

“Given that the widening comes at a time of CNY (Chinese yuan) weakness, we think the implicit message is that the authorities are comfortable with further currency weakness, as well as greater two-way movements in the exchange rate,” said a report by Brown Brothers Harriman.

Against the Japanese currency the yuan fetched 16.49 yen against 16.51 yen on Friday.

The dollar was lower against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It fell to 61.19 Indian rupees from 61.47 rupees on Friday, to 44.67 Philippine pesos from 44.69 pesos, and to 1,068.45 South Korean won from 1,072.78 won.

The greenback also dipped to SG$1.2651 from SG$1.2666, to 11,267.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,418.80 rupiah, and to 32.24 Thai baht from 32.32 baht.

The Australian dollar rose to 90.54 U.S. cents from 90.05 cents.

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