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Asian currencies softer but yen bucks trend to push past ¥111 mark

Asian currencies were broadly weaker on Tuesday but the yen rallied following a round of positive economic data.

Japan’s yen was stronger in the wake of data that showed retail sales growth sped up in April and the unemployment rate held steady at the lowest level in decades for a third month straight. The currency was 0.4 per cent firmer against the dollar at ¥110.83.

The rest of the region was losing against the greenback, with the dollar index tracking the US currency against its peers up 0.2 per cent at 97.663. The Australian dollar was steadying after building approvals figures showed better-than-expected growth last month, paring losses to be down 0.2 per cent at $0.7426.

A broader dollar rally also saw the euro shed 0.4 per cent to $1.1124 and the British pound down 0.3 per cent at $1.2807.

South Africa’s rand was worst off among global currencies, weakening another 0.5 per cent to 13.0304 per dollar having shed 0.7 per cent on Monday after embattled President Jacob Zuma survived an attempted ouster from within his own ruling party.