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September 24, 2017

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Dollar eases in Asia on Wall Street losses

TOKYO -- The dollar edged down against the yen and the euro in Asian trade on Friday after uninspiring U.S. data and a slide on Wall Street, dealers said.

The greenback was changing hands at 101.37 yen in Tokyo late afternoon trade, down from 101.70 yen in New York Thursday afternoon.

The euro fetched US$1.3628 and 138.15 yen against US$1.3619 and 138.62 yen.

"The dollar-selling momentum is continuing because of disappointment over U.S. data," said a senior dealer at FX Prime Corp.

Fresh data from the Japanese government on Friday, including inflation, had a limited impact on the currency market, he added.

Weakness in the Nikkei futures on the Tokyo stock market is also contributing to the dollar's decline against the yen, a Japanese bank dealer told Dow Jones Newswires.

European and U.S. stocks finished lower after official data showed that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose a mere 0.2 percent in May after a flat April.

Core consumer prices — with volatile fresh food stripped out — rose 3.4 percent year-on-year in May, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.

That was higher than a 3.2 percent increase in April, but matched market expectations, and gives a boost to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's stated aim of replacing years of deflation with a more health inflation rate of two percent.

However, analysts said a large chunk of the increase came from a rise in consumption tax from 5.0 percent to 8.0 percent, which took effect on April 1.

As such, it was unlikely to dampen the Bank of Japan's stimulus program, a move that will place upward pressure on the yen.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

It fell to SG$1.2486 from SG$1.2490 on Thursday, to 43.79 Philippines pesos from 43.82 pesos.

The Australian dollar slipped to 94.37 U.S. cents from 94.02 cents, while the Chinese yuan was trading at 16.28 yen against 16.33 yen.

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