* Dlr/yen slumps to 5-mth low, slips below 200-day moving
* Trump comments raise wariness over Treasury's currency
* Aussie pops up on upbeat domestic employment data
(Updates prices, adds details and quotes)
By Shinichi Saoshiro
TOKYO, April 13 The dollar slumped broadly on
Thursday, falling to a five-month low against the yen, after
U.S. President Donald Trump helped accelerate its recent decline
by saying the currency was too strong.
The greenback took a heavy hit after Trump told the Wall
Street Journal that the dollar "is getting too strong" and that
he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.
The comments were a fresh reminder of the president's
protectionist trade rhetoric, which has been a source of concern
for dollar bulls.
"Trump's comments came at a time when some had begun to
think that perhaps the president was not as supportive of a weak
dollar as initially perceived," said Shin Kadota, senior
strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.
"But he reiterated his view that a strong currency hurts
U.S. competitiveness, adding fresh downward pressure on the
The U.S. currency was 0.3 percent lower at 108.805 yen
after stooping to a five-month low of 108.730. In a
bearish technical signal, the pair broke below its 200-day
moving average of 108.75.
The dollar has shed 2 percent against the yen so far this
week, with the safe-haven Japanese currency already on a bullish
footing because of a rise in geopolitical tensions.
There are fresh concerns about the French presidential
election and possible U.S. military action against Syria and
North Korea. With investors viewing South Korea's sovereign
notes as a riskier bet on the rising tensions, the premium for
the country's credit default swap debt insurance has risen to a
That Trump seemed unmoved by the significant weakening of
the dollar against the yen already in place increased
nervousness towards the U.S. Treasury's semi-annual currency
report due Friday, and next week's U.S.-Japan bilateral
"It appears that the Trump administration is trying to make
up for its internal policy shortcomings with a show of force in
external policy, leading to a confrontational stance with trade
partners," said Daisuke Karakama, market economist at Mizuho
"Currencies rates and trade balance inevitably become themes
to confront others countries with. So if you are in the forex
market it requires a lot of courage to buy the dollar right
The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.0669, not far from a
six-day high of $1.0675 reached overnight.
The dollar lost significant ground against the pound and
Swiss franc as well, and as a result the dollar index versus a
basket of major currencies lost about 0.7 percent to a two-week
low of 100.040.
The Australian dollar was given some breathing room as the
greenback slumped. Stronger-than-expected domestic employment
data also lifted the currency.
It was up 0.5 percent at $0.7567, pulling away from
a three-month low of $0.7473 plumbed the previous day when
wide-spread risk aversion amid simmering geopolitical concerns
took its toll on the Aussie.
The dollar was on track for its third straight day of losses
against China's yuan, after rising to a one-month high
at the start of the week.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note
was at 2.234 percent after touching 2.221 percent,
its lowest in nearly five months.
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer)