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FOREX-Yen supported by risk aversion, euro sags on political woes
February 7, 2017 / 12:33 AM / 10 months ago

FOREX-Yen supported by risk aversion, euro sags on political woes

* Yen holds broad gains vs dollar, euro, Aussie

* Risk aversion hurts dollar/yen, U.S. trade data in focus

* French political woes hit euro, other EU election risks weigh

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The dollar stood near a 10-week low against the yen early on Tuesday as investors sought refuge in the safe-haven Japanese currency, while the euro languished on French political woes.

The dollar was little changed at 111.730 yen, in close range of 111.625, its lowest since Nov. 29 plumbed overnight.

The greenback sank 0.7 percent against the yen the previous day on rising risk aversion, with U.S. Treasury yields falling in tandem with Wall Street shares and crude oil prices.

The U.S. currency has fallen 4.5 percent against the yen so far this year, hurt in large part by U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade rhetoric.

“With the protectionist trade stance the United States is seemingly poised to adopt now a key market theme, the December U.S. trade data due later today garners attention,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief FX strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

“A trade deficit that exceeds forecasts would weigh on the dollar by raising caution in the market towards top U.S. officials, who may speak out against perceived dollar strength.”

The euro fetched 120.145 yen, in close proximity of a two-month low of 119.975 set overnight when it shed 1.1 percent.

The common currency was steady at $1.0748 after dropping 0.3 percent overnight. The decline pulled the euro further away from an eight-week high of $1.0829 scaled on Thursday against a broadly weaker dollar.

The euro staggered on Monday after France’s far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen launched her presidential bid, vowing to fight globalisation and take France out of the euro zone. French government bond yields rose sharply amid perceived risks to the already strained European political establishment.

The euro wobbled against such a backdrop, with investors also having to factor in elections in other parts of the European Union.

Dutch and German elections will be held in March and September. Another presidential election looms in Italy, even as former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi said he was willing to shelve his push for early voting.

The Australian dollar was down 0.2 percent at $0.7646 following the drop in commodities such as crude oil the previous day.

The Aussie inched down to 85.43 yen, adding to losses from the day before when it shed more than 1 percent against the Japanese currency. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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