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No longer a safe haven, once-mighty yen slumps

Current-account deficit and decline of carry trade erode demand from risk-shy traders

The yen has fallen rapidly against the dollar over the past week, reaching 118.50 to the dollar at one point Tuesday. (Photo by Tetsuya Kitayama)

TOKYO -- Even as the repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine roil the global economy, the yen has actually declined more than other major currencies, in a sign that it may be losing appeal as a safe bet in times of turmoil.

The Japanese currency depreciated 2.6% against the dollar between March 7 and Tuesday, softening as far as the mid-118 range. After hovering around 114 to 115 yen to the greenback following the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, it began weakening faster last week amid the surge in prices for crude oil and other commodities.

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