Dollar slips in Asian trade

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TOKYO – The dollar weakened against the yen in Asia on Monday with investors turning to the safe-haven Japanese unit following last week’s losses on Wall Street.

The greenback fetched 97.48 yen in Tokyo morning trade against 97.53 yen in New York late Friday. The dollar had briefly passed its Friday level after official data Monday showed Japan’s trade deficit nearly doubled on year to $10.5 billion in July, but it quickly fell back.

The euro fetched $1.3338 compared with $1.3326 while it was also at 129.97, from 129.93 yen.

“We should be on high alert as the dollar has not gone up against the yen despite rises in US long-term interest rates,” Credit Suisse research analyst Hiromichi Shirakawa said.

“As seen in the downtrend in US stock prices, a risk-off mood is increasingly stronger in financial markets, requiring caution,” he said in a note.

US equity markets suffered one of their poorest weeks of 2013, tumbling on the back of uninspiring economic data and troubling earnings reports from Walmart and other retailers.

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index slipped into negative territory before finishing Monday’s morning session 0.14 percent higher.

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