* Concerns about N. Korea, Syria offset Fed rate hike
* Euro remains pressured by French election uncertainty
TOKYO, April 11 The dollar fell against the yen
in Asian trading on Tuesday, as concerns over tensions with
North Korea and Syria weighed on U.S. Treasury yields and offset
expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes.
The dollar extended earlier losses against the yen, slipping
0.3 percent to 110.63 Japanese yen, moving further away
from its overnight high of 111.57. It remained solidly in the
110.11-112.19 range in which it has traded since late March.
The possibility of some kind of U.S. military action against
North Korea in response to its weapons tests gained traction
after President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against
Syria last week in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack on
civilians by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
"The market has become more cautious about Trump's
policies, with attention to increased risks," said Harumi
Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Markit in Tokyo. "The yen is
easy to buy in such situations."
China and South Korea agreed on Monday to impose tougher
sanctions on North Korea if it carries out nuclear or long-range
missile tests, a senior official in Seoul said, as a U.S. Navy
strike group headed to the region in a show of force.
The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency
against a basket of six major peers, was slightly down on the
day at 101.010.
The benchmark 10-year yield fell to 2.340 percent
in Asian trading, from its U.S. close of 2.361
percent on Monday.
"U.S. interest rate increases and the Fed's balance sheet
reduction remain key factors on which people are taking dollar
positions," said Mitsuo Imaizumi, Tokyo-based chief
foreign-exchange strategist for Daiwa Securities.
"But there is position-squaring whenever risk aversion
rises," he said. "Whenever there is any news about terrorism, or
Syria, or North Korea, there is some adjustment of positions."
The Federal Reserve's plans to raise U.S. interest rates
gradually are aimed at sustaining full employment and
near-2-percent inflation without letting the economy overheat,
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Monday, reinforcing the central
bank's message and offering no fresh clues on the policy
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Tuesday told the
upper house of parliament that he believed the BOJ would be able
to smoothly manage an exit from its current quantitative easing
policy, including reducing the size of its balance sheet.
Against the yen, the euro slipped 0.3 percent to 117.12
after falling to 117.06, its lowest since
The euro inched 0.1 percent lower to $1.0588 after
plumbing $1.0568 overnight, its lowest level since March 9, amid
uncertainty ahead of France's presidential election.
Opinion polls indicate far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and
centrist Emmanuel Macron will come out ahead in the April 23
first round and make it to the May 7 run-off, with Macron
winning. But leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon has seen his
ratings surge and conservative Francois Fillon, damaged by a
nepotism scandal, has also regained some lost ground.
Le Pen drew protests from her election rivals and the
Israeli government on Monday by denying the French state's
responsibility for a mass arrest of Jews in Paris during World
(Reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Eric Meijer and