U.S. dollar prices slumped broadly on Thursday, falling to a five-month low against the yen, after American President Donald Trump helped accelerate its recent decline by saying the currency was too strong.
The greenback took a heavy hit after Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the dollar is getting too strong and that he would prefer the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.
The comments were a fresh reminder of the president’s protectionist trade rhetoric, which has been a source of concern for dollar bulls.
“Trump’s comments came at a time when some had begun to think that perhaps the president was not as supportive of a weak dollar as initially perceived,” said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.
“But he reiterated his view that a strong currency hurts U.S. competitiveness, adding fresh downward pressure on the dollar.”
The U.S. currency was a shade lower at 109.000 yen after stooping to a five-month low of 108.920.
It has shed 1.8 percent against the yen so far this week, with the safe-haven Japanese currency already on a bullish footing because of a rise in geopolitical tensions.
There are fresh concerns about the French presidential election and possible U.S. military action against Syria and North Korea.
The euro was steady at $1.0669, not far from a six-day high of $1.0675 reached overnight.
The dollar lost significant ground against the pound and Swiss franc as well, and as a result the dollar index versus a basket of major currencies was down 0.6 percent at 100.100.
The Australian dollar was given some breathing room as the greenback slumped.
It was up 0.2 percent at $0.7542, pulling away from a three-month low of $0.7473 plumbed the previous day when wide-spread risk aversion amid simmering geopolitical concerns took its toll on the Aussie.
The yield on the benchmark U.S. ten-year Treasury note was at 2.244 percent after touching 2.239 percent overnight, its lowest in nearly five months.