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Dollar slips against yen on signs U.S. economy may be slowing

The dollar slipped against the yen in Asian trading Friday on recent data suggesting that the U.S. economy is slowing faster than expected.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 119.56 yen by mid-afternoon in Tokyo, down from 119.63 yen late Thursday in New York. The euro fell to US$1.3599 from US$1.3601.

Earlier in the session, the dollar rose to an intraday high of 119.75 yen before falling back as the U.S. currency wasn't able to maintain its rise due to selling pressure given recent weak U.S. economic data, traders said.

Worries about the U.S. economy have grown after recent figures showed weaker-than-expected existing and new home sales as well as deteriorating consumer confidence. That may cause the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates sooner than previously expected.

Meanwhile, a decline in Japanese consumer prices in March sent the euro to a new record high of 162.84 yen Friday in Asia, and the currency may rise further if the Bank of Japan doesn't signal a near-term rate hike in its semiannual report to be released later Friday.

"While the euro has been steadily moving up, the yen has lost its only supportive factor due to (Friday's) weak inflation data," said Tokyo Forex and Ueda Harlow senior manager Masanobu Ishikawa.

Early in the day, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Japan's core consumer price index fell 0.3 percent on year in March, marking the second straight month of declines and the biggest fall in two years.

Other traders said Japanese exporters could stand in the way of a further advance in the euro ahead of the Japan's long "Golden Week" holiday, when markets will be closed Monday, Thursday and Friday.

Against the other Asian currencies, the dollar was higher, rising to 1.5166 Singapore dollars from 1.5157 and 928.8 South Korean won from 928.7.

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