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Japan asks how low can the yen go, and will it hurt

Bears see currency hitting 125 to the dollar by year's end

TOKYO -- Not long ago, Japan would have welcomed the yen weakening to a six-year low. But now the energy-poor economy is feeling the pain as well as the gain.

The yen weakened to more than 121 against the dollar on Tuesday, a level not seen since February 2016. Traders reacted to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell saying he was open to raising interest rates by increments of 50 basis points to combat inflation, raising expectations of a wider spread between U.S. and Japanese rates.

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