Dollar drops against yen with all eyes on Fed

TOKYO, Jan 29, 2008 (AFP) – The dollar slipped against the yen in Asian trade on Tuesday as traders bet on another US interest rate cut this week to try to ward off a US recession, dealers said. The dollar slipped to 106.71 yen in Tokyo midday trade from 106.87 in New York late Monday.

But the US currency gained on the euro, which fell to 1.4763 dollars from 1.4782 and to 157.54 yen from 157.99.

The yen tends to benefit from increased investor caution as it is used by many speculators as a source of cheap funds for risky investments overseas due to Japan’s rock-bottom interest rates.

“Jitters among equity investors due to continuing risks of a sharp global slow down in economic growth have not gone away,” NAB Capital currency strategist John Kyriakopoulos wrote in a note to clients.

The greenback was pressured after the US Commerce Department reported the lowest new US home sales in more than a decade in December, deepening fears over prospects of the US economy.

The new-home sales declined last month by 4.7 percent from November, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 604,000 properties, the lowest level since February 1995.

On an annual basis, new-home sales plu