Dollar lower against yen amid unclear outlook for U.S. economy

The dollar fell against the yen in Asian trading Tuesday as short-term focused Japanese and overseas players sold the dollar amid speculation that U.S. retail sales data might prove disappointing.

The dollar was trading at 117.36 yen Tuesday midafternoon, down from 117.61 yen late Monday in New York. The euro fell to $1.3176 from $1.3187.

Players expect the dollar to drop below 117.00 yen if U.S. retail sales data for February due out later in the day are weaker than expected. Economists forecast the figure, excluding auto sales, to post a 0.2 percent rise, according to a Dow Jones survey.

"Players purchased too much of the dollar after Friday's jobs data, despite the still unclear outlook for the U.S. economy," said Hidenori Kato, a senior dealer at Societe Generale. "They are looking for reasons to sell the dollar."

Currency players are continuing to monitor global stock price moves for clues about the direction of foreign exchange, they added, reports AP.

"There are players who still want to decrease their exposure to their high-risk investments," said Osao Iizuka, a senior trader at Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co. "If stocks fall, even though it's not a new trading factor anymore, they will use it as an excuse to dump the dollar."

Against other Asian currencies, the dollar was higher. It rose 0.26 percent against Indian rupee to 44.230 and 0.44 percent against Philippine peso to 48.420.

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