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Currencies

Dollar drops on Trump's warning of overvalued currency

Hopes for president-elect's policies 'have waned,' says analyst

TOKYO -- The dollar fell against the yen Wednesday morning in Tokyo, following warnings from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that the greenback is too strong against the Chinese yuan, hurting the competitiveness of American companies.

At 10 a.m., the dollar was trading at 112.65-68 yen, compared with 113.28-30 at the end of the previous trading day in Tokyo. Traders spooked by Trump's comments are selling the dollar for yen, pushing the Japanese currency to its highest level versus the dollar in six weeks.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Tuesday, Trump said the strong U.S. currency "is killing us," spurring concerns in the market that the protectionist President-elect will break from the longstanding strong-dollar policy of previous administrations.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Anthony Scaramucci, a senior adviser to Trump, also warned of the risk of a strong dollar to the U.S. economy, saying the incoming administration will closely monitor the situation. 

"As hopes for the president-elect's economic policies have waned, U.S. interest rates are headed lower and investors are no longer holding on to the dollar," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. 

"Until Trump gives his inauguration speech later this week, there is a possibility that the dollar will drop to around 112 yen," Murata said. "But the U.S. economy is firm and the yen's weakness against the dollar will continue in the medium to long term."

Meanwhile, other Asian currencies are also on the rise against the dollar. The Malaysian ringgit briefly rose to 4.437 to the dollar, the highest in around a month. The Indonesian rupiah is rising, too. The Taiwanese dollar is firm, while the Thai baht hit a two-month high at one point. 

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