Japanese Yen hits 18-month high against dollar
The yen also pushed higher against the euro, which fell 0.4% to 122.295 yen.
The yen set an 18-month high against the dollar on Friday, staying on a firm in the wake of the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) decision the previous day to hold off from expanding its monetary stimulus.
The dollar slid to as low as 107.075 yen, the greenback's weakest level since October 2014. The dollar was last trading at 107.37 yen, down 0.7% on the day, following on from a 3.0% fall on Thursday.
The dollar's drop gained momentum after it breached a low of 107.63 yen set earlier in April. Momentum and technicals probably played a part in exaggerating moves, traders said.
"I think a combination of follow-through from yesterday's BOJ decision plus the softer dollar tone has weighed on dollar/yen as well," said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia FX and rates strategy for Barclays in Singapore.
"There's very little to stop dollar/yen continuing to trade lower especially given the dollar itself has really lost a lot of momentum," he added.
The yen also pushed higher against the euro, which fell 0.4% to 122.295 yen. On Thursday, the euro had shed 2.7% versus the yen.
The force of the yen's gains are likely to make Japanese policymakers uneasy, and analysts were watching out for any efforts by Japanese officials to take the currency down.
Japanese financial markets were shut on Friday for a public holiday.
"Outright intervention remains unlikely unless price action gets truly disorderly," analysts at BNP Paribas wrote in a note to clients.
"However, we would expect MOF officials to continue to signal that intervention is available to counter disorderly moves and for BOJ officials to remind markets of their willingness to ease further."
Not helping the greenback, data released on Thursday confirmed what many already suspected, that US economic growth nearly stalled in the first quarter. The economy grew at a paltry 0.5% annualised pace, breaking sharply from 1.4%.
Given that backdrop, the US Federal Reserve might be in no hurry to deliver the next hike in rates, traders said.
Underscoring the dollar's soft tone, the euro rose 0.3% against the dollar to $1.1384.
The Australian dollar edged up 0.3% against the greenback to $0.7644.
There was little in the way of market-moving data out of Asia on Friday. China's official survey of manufacturing activity due on Sunday should set the tone for early next week.
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