CURRENCIES: Dollar Falls Against Yen As Analysts See Flight To Safety Due To Geopolitical Fears

By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Jitters persist about Mideast rift, Comey's testimony, U.K. vote

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The dollar lost ground against the yen on Tuesday, with analysts blaming the drop on a range of geopolitical worries.

The buck was trading at 109.67 yen, down from 110.46 late Monday in New York.

The Japanese currency is a common safety play, and analysts said it was finding buyers thanks in part to concerns about a rift between Qatar and other Mideast nations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-saudi-arabias-spat-with-qatar-2017-06-05), as well as jitters about two events on Thursday -- the U.K. general election and former FBI boss James Comey's highly anticipated testimony before a Senate panel. The panel is investigating Russian efforts to interfere in last year's presidential race.

See:What to watch when James Comey testifies to the Senate on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-to-watch-when-james-comey-testifies-to-the-senate-on-thursday-2017-06-05)

And read:U.K. election -- the worst, best and most likely scenarios for stocks worldwide (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-election-the-nightmare-best-case-and-most-likely-scenarios-for-stocks-worldwide-2017-06-01)

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"Apparently, it's geopolitical risks leading the direction," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, in a note Tuesday.

"The dollar fell to its lowest levels in six weeks against the yen. This shouldn't be surprising given the scale of event risks this Thursday," Sayed added.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down about 0.1% to 96.69, after earlier showing a bigger loss and touching levels last seen in November.

The pound was changing hands at $1.2921, up from $1.2903 late Monday in New York, showing resilience even as the U.K. election's outcome has become more uncertain.

A poll released late Monday by Survation put British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party one point ahead of the opposition Labour Party, down 16 points from a month ago. The Telegraph's poll tracker has the Tories ahead by 7 points, compared with a lead of more than 20 points in April.

Don't miss:5 things to know about the U.K. general election this week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-things-to-know-about-the-uk-general-election-next-week-2017-06-01)

The euro was at $1.1248, down slightly from $1.1256 late Monday.

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin was continuing to rally, trading above $2,800 for the first time.

Check out:3 reasons why bitcoin's surge may not be a bubble (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/3-reasons-why-bitcoins-surge-may-not-be-a-bubble-2017-06-02)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2017 04:30 ET (08:30 GMT)