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September 24, 2017

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Euro dips in Asia as analysts warn on Russia sanctions

TOKYO -- The euro weakened in Asia on Tuesday after rallying in New York as analysts warned of downside risks if Western leaders tighten economic sanctions on Russia over the Crimea crisis.

The eurozone has strong business links with Moscow and any disruption of crucial oil supplies from Russia could weigh on the single currency, analysts said.

In Tokyo afternoon trade, the euro bought US$1.3828 and 141.39, against US$1.3835 and 141.48 yen on Monday in New York, where it was boosted by an improvement in eurozone business activity.

The dollar bought 102.25 yen from 102.26 yen.

The Indian rupee hit a seven-month high of 60.47 to the dollar as it slowly recovers from a sell-off that had been fuelled by the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to start winding down its stimulus program.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama and other members of the Group of Seven economic powers cancelled an upcoming summit in Russia, seeking to deepen Moscow's isolation after it absorbed Crimea from Ukraine this month.

After emergency talks called by Obama, it was announced that the June gathering in Sochi would be replaced by a G-7 meeting in Brussels, without Russian involvement.

Investors were gauging the possible wider impact of any fresh sanctions on Moscow.

Investors will be closely watching a Paris lecture by European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Wednesday to see if he gives any fresh policy hints.

Credit Agricole said: "Although risk aversion has declined from recently elevated levels there is still a high degree of caution from investors who are unwilling to take long term bets.

"The causes of market angst have remained unchanged over recent weeks namely Ukraine tensions, weaker growth in China and U.S. data that has performed below expectations."

India's rupee continued to enjoy support as fears over the end to the Fed's stimulus dissipate, while traders are hopeful of a victory for the pro-business BJP opposition in upcoming general elections.

The unit was one of the worst hit among emerging market currencies last year by the Fed's tapering move as foreigners withdrew their investments on the expectation that interest rates at home will rise.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It slipped to 45.10 Philippine pesos from 45.18 pesos and to SG$1.2689 from SG$1.2718.

It rose to 32.58 Thai baht from 32.44 baht and to 1,079.50 South Korean won from 1,078.50 won, while unchanged at 11,380 Indonesian rupiah.

The Australian dollar rose to 91.26 U.S. cents from 90.85 cents. The Chinese yuan fetched 16.49 yen against 16.46 yen.

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