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Yen weakens in Asian trade

TOKYO–The yen weakened against other major currencies in Asian morning trade on Friday as risk sentiment improved, with Tokyo stocks bouncing back following the previous day’s seven-percent plunge.

The dollar rose to 102.33 yen in Tokyo from 101.82 yen in New York late Thursday as the benchmark Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange jumped over three three percent in early trade.

The euro also climbed against the Japanese currency to 132.15 yen from 131.72 yen while easing to $1.2913 from $1.2935 in US trade.

“The yen’s broader weakening trend will likely continue,” Akira Moroga, manager of the foreign exchange products group at Aozora Bank, told Dow Jones Newswires.

“Still, the yen may not weaken as fast as it has previously because stocks may lose their upward momentum down the road.”

Credit Suisse said yen weakness may not last.

“It is difficult to justify the (current) 102-103 yen range to the dollar,” Credit Suisse research analyst Hiromichi Shirakawa said in a note, arguing the dollar’s fair value would be around 85 yen.

The dollar rose past 103 yen this month to hit its highest level since October 2008 on the Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing and robust US economic data.

Dollar trade Friday also moved on differing interpretations over comments from US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, although dealers generally saw him as saying the Fed needed to see a few months’ more of data before it would weigh reining in its bond-purchase program.


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