Source AP ©

Dollar dips against the yen on U.S. economy concerns; euro hits fresh vs yen

The dollar was lower against the yen in Asia Tuesday amid lingering concerns about the outlook for the U.S. economy.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 119.02 yen at 2:50 p.m. (0550 GMT) Tuesday, down from 119.29 yen late Monday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.3420 from US$1.3360.

U.S. hedge funds tried to lift the greenback above 119.50 yen with the aim of taking profits at that level early in the Asian session, but their efforts were blocked by Japanese exporters and other investors, traders said.

That triggered a selloff of the U.S. unit first against the yen, then the euro.

"The weakness of the dollar due to an uncertain outlook for the U.S. economy can't be changed ... with (Friday's) payroll results alone," said Jun Kitazawa, head of foreign exchange trading at BBH Investment Services. "Most players continue to favor the euro."

The euro hit a fresh record high against the yen in Asia, reaching 159.79 yen as U.S. funds bought the single currency to adjust their currency holdings in still-thin trading after the Easter holidays.

Players expect the yen to also remain weak for a while as the Bank of Japan is expected to hold interest rates steady for awhile. At a board meeting earlier Tuesday, BOJ policy makers unanimously voted to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5 percent.

The dollar was higher against other Asian currencies, rising to 42.885 Indian rupees from 42.685, to 48.000 Philippine pesos from 47.820, and to 1.5160 Singapore dollars from 1.5136.

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