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Investors scurry to safety as global tensions flare

Tokyo stocks lose ground as Japanese currency advances

The yen strengthened to the 109 range against the dollar Wednesday.

TOKYO -- Financial markets flinched Wednesday on the harder line recently taken by the U.S. on international security, with the yen reaching a five-month high against the dollar as investors scrambled for safe havens.

A retail investor summed up the situation, saying that "it's hard to imagine the dollar gaining against the yen right now" with Washington mulling the use of force in North Korea and elsewhere. Investors have lost appetite for risk in the days since the U.S. fired missiles on a Syrian air base.

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