Dollar up against yen in Asian trade
Demand for the safe haven yen grew recently on a decline in oil prices that stirred concerns about the strength of the global economy.
The yen is often seen as a secure investment target in times of volatility and uncertainty.
But dollar-buying sentiment revived in early Asian trade after the greenback’s decline approached 120 yen, dealers said.
The US unit recovered to 120.45 yen in Tokyo on Monday afternoon from a two-month low of 120.19 yen on Friday in Tokyo.
Financial markets were closed on Friday in the US and many European countries.
The euro edged up to $1.0973 from $1.0965. The single currency also strengthened to 132.18 yen from 131.73 yen in US trade.
Currency traders largely ignored a 1.0 percent decline in Japan’s factory output in November announced by the government Monday.
Among other currencies, South Korea’s won strengthened to a three-week high on speculation exporters are selling dollars to convert overseas earnings as the end of the year approaches.
The currency climbed 0.47 percent against the greenback, the strongest since early December.
“Exporters are selling the greenback to repatriate earnings as both the year-end and month-end approach,” Kim Dae-Hun, a currency trader at Busan Bank in Seoul, told Bloomberg News.
In other trading, the Philippine peso weakened to 0.24 percent on the dollar and the Malaysian ringgit slipped 0.02 percent, while the Indian rupee rose 0.11 percent and the Taiwan dollar gained 0.32 percent.
Higher-yielding — and riskier — emerging units have been hit hard this year on fears of a flight of capital to the US as dealers look for better, safer investments boosted by the Federal Reserve interest rate raise.