Early trade in New York: Yen jumps on Trump’s tariff threat on Mexico

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Investors rushed into the perceived safety of Japanese yen on Friday, sending it to a four-month high against the dollar, after US President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico roiled financial markets and stoked recession fears. Taking aim at what he said was a surge of illegal immigrants across the southern border, Trump vowed on Thursday to impose a tariff on all goods coming from Mexico, starting at 5% and ratcheting higher until the flow of people ceases. The Mexican peso tumbled against the greenback, losing as much as 3.4% at one point, for its steepest single-day loss since October. Trump’s surprise duties on Mexican imports "spurred sharp losses in the Mexican peso and a general risk-off move that strengthened the yen," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex LLC. Several different currencies have served as safe havens during the global trade conflict, but the yen has consistently been among the strongest this year, and on Friday investors appeared to opt for the Japanese currency. The yen increased 0.89% at 108.655 per dollar and 0.76% per euro, respectively. For May, the Japanese currency was on track to gain 2.50% against the dollar and 3.17% versus the euro. The Swiss Franc also enticed safe-haven buying, rising 0.26% at $1.0051. The impact of escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing is starting to show up in economic data, with a key measure of Chinese manufacturing activity disappointing investors, and Trump’s latest salvo fueled a rush on […]

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