Source AP ©

Dollar slips vs yen in Asian trading ahead of string of Japanese economic reports

The dollar slipped against the yen in Asia Monday ahead of a string of Japanese economic reports due Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar was trading at 121.64 by mid-afternoon in Tokyo, down from 121.74 yen late Friday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.3454 from US$1.3447.

Traders, however, said sentiment toward the dollar remains generally bullish, and the U.S. currency may still rise to this year's high of 122.20 yen soon, largely because of the wide interest rate gap between the U.S. and Japan.

Short-term-focused players in particular may try to push it above that level before some key Japanese economic reports are released early Tuesday in Japan, traders said.

"After pushing the dollar up there, players will probably take profits once," said Jun Kato, a senior dealer at Shinkin Central Bank. "And players are hoping the Japanese data will show stronger-than-expected results because that will provide good opportunities to buy the dollar back cheap."

The government data to be released Tuesday will include Japan's unemployment data and household spending, both for April.

Japan's jobless rate is forecast to have stayed unchanged at 4.0 percent in April from the previous month, while household spending for April is tipped to have risen 0.1 percent from a year earlier, according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. Retail sales data are also due.

Most European and U.S. players were away Monday due to market holidays.

Against other Asian currencies, the dollar was mixed, rising to 928.8 South Korean won from 928.3 on Friday and to 16,065 Vietnamese dong from 16,057, while falling to 45.900 Philippine peso from 45.97.

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