Greenback slips against the yen

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IOL pic aug29 asian markets yen Associated Press File picture: Eugene Hoshiko

Tokyo - The yen edged up in Asia on Friday as growing fears of a possible Russia-Ukraine military conflict offset upbeat US economic growth data.

In Tokyo midday trade, the greenback slipped to 103.70 yen from 103.75 yen in New York late on Thursday.

The euro dipped to 136.71 yen from 136.75 yen and to $1.3180 from $1.3181.

Investors shifted into the yen seen as a safe-haven currency during times of turmoil and uncertainty following reports that more than 1 000 Russian troops had entered Ukraine, supporting pro-Moscow separatist rebels fighting Kiev.

Despite denials from Moscow, the news brought fresh warnings from Nato and Washington, and fanned worries of an escalation in the fighting and possible war.

“The yen rose against the dollar on the Ukraine row, but yen-buying sentiment appears limited,” said Minori Uchida, head of Tokyo global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

“The dollar has recently been climbing on the back of positive prospects for the US economy, and I think this trend will remain unchanged.”

The troubles in eastern Europe overshadowed data Thursday showing the US economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualised rate in April-June, up from a preliminary 4.0 percent estimate.

On Friday, a slate of government data revealed that Japan's economy slowed markedly last month, stoking more questions about the strength of the recovery following an April sales tax hike. - AFP

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