Yen rises on global economy worries


TOKYO — The yen picked up strength in Asia on Friday as dealers sought out safer bets after poor German data and an IMF warning of possible eurozone recession exacerbated concerns about the global economy. The dollar, which touched a six-year high above 110 yen last week, slipped to 107.79 yen from 107.84 yen in New York.

The euro fetched 136.86 yen against 136.87 yen in U.S. trade and well down from the 137.70 yen earlier Thursday in Tokyo. The single currency was up slightly at US$1.2697 against US$1.2691. Gloomy sentiment also took a bite out of the Australian dollar, which weakened to 87.74 U.S. cents from 88.80 cents the previous day. “We are now in a crucial level,” says Osao Iizuka, head of trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. “If the dollar-yen rate doesn’t break below well-established downside support of 107.50, it would be good to conclude the (dollar-yen) adjustment is over.” The dollar was mostly higher against other Asia-Pacific currencies. It rose to SG$1.2701 from SG$1.2693 on Thursday, 1,069.78 South Korean won from 1,067.38 won and to 12,206.00 Indonesian rupiah from 12,182.50 rupiah. It also strengthened to 61.12 Indian rupees from 61.08 rupees and to 44.72 Philippine pesos from 44.61 pesos, but it weakened to 32.40 Thai baht from 32.44 baht. The Chinese yuan bought 17.58 yen against 17.59 yen.