Yen in 13-year high over US dollar

TOKYO, October 24, 2008 (AFP) – The US dollar tumbled to a 13-year low against the yen in Asian trade on Friday as investors sought refuge amid rising fears of a global recession, dealers said.

The euro fared little better, hitting the lowest level in about six years against the yen on expectations that European economies will be hit particularly hard in the financial crisis.

The yen rose to 95.32 against the dollar, its highest since August 1995, before easing back. In Tokyo afternoon trade it was at 95.96, well down from 97.27 in New York late Thursday.

The euro fell to 122.07 yen — its lowest since December 2002 — before rebounding to 122.91, still off from 125.73 in New York. The European currency was at 1.2814 dollars, down from 1.2926.

The yen often rises at times of financial turmoil as dealers unwind risky bets funded with cheap Japanese credit.

“The best word to describe what’s going on right now is panic,” said Satoru Ogasawara, strategist at Credit Suisse

“When you don’t know what will come next, you tend to flee to the safest place,” Ogasawara said.

In a circular effect, the sharp rise in the yen in turn contributed to a major selloff on the Tok