Greenback edges back up, recovers losses during Asian afternoon trade
August 30, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TOKYO--The U.S. dollar edged up in Asian afternoon trade Friday recovering from losses in the morning that were fanned by fears of a possible Russia-Ukraine military conflict and offset upbeat U.S. economic growth data.
The greenback rose to 103.82 yen, up from 103.70 yen earlier in the day and 103.75 yen in New York late Thursday.
The euro was at 136.74 yen from 136.75 yen, while it bought US$1.3171 from US$1.3181.
The dollar's gains against the yen were partly driven by Japanese importers buying the currency before month end, dealers said.
Some market participants also bought back the greenback as Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to allow Ukrainian troops to escape from the rebel-held eastern town of Novoazovsk.
Investors had shifted into the yen, seen as a safe-haven currency during times of turmoil and uncertainty, following reports that more than 1,000 Russian troops entered Ukraine, supporting pro-Moscow separatist rebels fighting Kiev.
Despite denials from Moscow, the news brought fresh warnings from NATO and Washington, and fanned worries of an escalation in the fighting and possible war.
"Similar headlines would have caused the dollar to fall more steeply against the yen before," Daisaku Ueno, chief foreign exchange strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, told Dow Jones Newswires.
The troubles in Eastern Europe overshadowed data Thursday showing the U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in April-June, up from a preliminary 4-percent estimate.
On Friday, a slate of government data revealed that Japan's economy slowed sharply last month, leading to more questions about the strength of the recovery following an April sales tax hike.
The dollar strengthened against other Asia-Pacific currencies.
It rose to SG$1.2490 from SG$1.2465 on Thursday, to 31.94 Thai baht from 31.89 baht and to 11,710.00 Indonesian rupiah from 11,688.50 rupiah.
The greenback also rose to 1,014.77 South Korean won from 1,013.48 won, to 43.67 Philippine pesos from 43.66 pesos, to 60.51 Indian rupees from 60.40 rupees.
The Australian dollar weakened to 93.49 U.S. cents from 93.58 cents, while the Chinese yuan bought 16.89 yen against 16.86 yen.