Euro hits highest since May 2011 vs yen, touches day's high vs dollar

NEW YORK Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:12pm EST

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NEW YORK Jan 17 (Reuters) - The euro was on a tear on Thursday, hitting its highest level against the yen in more than 2-1/2 years and touching session peaks versus the dollar.

The euro in general benefited from weakness in the yen, which suffered another blow after news reports about the Bank of Japan's potential easing measures at next week's policy meeting. .

It was also underpinned by a strong bond auction in Spain and Portugal's possible return to the international bond market.

Europe's common currency rose as high as 120.31 yen in early afternoon trading, its strongest level since May 2011. It was last at 120.21 yen, up 2.4 percent on the day.

Against the dollar, the euro touched session highs at $1.3387. It last changed hands at $1.3382, up 0.7 percent.