Greenback bounces back in Asian markets


TOKYO–The dollar rallied against the yen and euro on Monday after the unit plunged in the wake of last week’s announcement that Washington had authorized air strikes in Iraq. The dollar strengthened to 102.13 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, against 102.06 yen in New York late Friday and 101.81 yen in Asia.

The euro was quoted at US$1.3401 and 136.87 yen, slipping from US$1.3416 and 136.93 yen in New York.

“Players bought back the dollar after the market factored in the situations in Iraq and Ukraine,” said Yosuke Hosokawa, head of forex sales at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. “The dollar is expected to be steady in a limited range, but players still need to keep watching geopolitical factors,” he added. The yen surged on Friday after U.S. President Barack Obama said he had authorized the air strikes on Iraq and humanitarian supply drops to prevent a “genocide” by Islamist extremists against minorities. Investors tend to buy the yen in times of uncertainty and turmoil. But Obama, who was an outspoken critic of his predecessor George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, said he was not sending back ground forces. On Sunday, Ukraine’s army shelled the main rebel bastion of Donetsk as Russia called for a humanitarian ceasefire, which the West warned could be a pretext by Moscow to send in troops. The dollar weakened against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It eased to SG$1.2493 from SG$1.2537 on Friday, to 1,030.35 South Korean won from 1,035.70 won, to 11,667.50 Indonesian rupiah from 11,812.50 rupiah and to 43.91 Philippine pesos from 44.25 pesos. The dollar also weakened to 61.09 Indian rupees from 61.61 rupees, and to 32.12 Thai baht from 32.21 baht.

The Australian dollar rose to 92.82 U.S. cents from 92.45 cents, while the Chinese yuan changed hands at 16.59 yen against 16.53 yen.