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Yen underpinned by exporters buying forward contracts

TOKYO -- Exporters in Japan are projecting a stronger yen trend this fiscal year, snapping up forward currency contracts to lock in favorable exchange rates, which in turn will likely keep the currency from weakening. 

     Japanese exporters -- which use forward contracts to sell the greenback and buy the yen for when bringing overseas revenue back home -- were hesitant to take long positions when the yen was trading at around 107 two weeks ago. The currency had appreciated to the mid-107 level, its strongest in 17 months, on April 11 as speculators sold the dollar amid the fading prospect of imminent U.S. interest rate hikes.

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