* Dollar/yen and cross/yen retreat
* Syria concerns dent sentiment toward risky assets
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, Aug 27 The yen rose on Tuesday as
risk sentiment took a hit on worries that the United States may
be edging toward possible military action against the Syrian
government over a suspected chemical weapons attack.
The United States put Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on
notice on Monday that it believes he was responsible for using
chemical weapons against civilians last week in what Secretary
of State John Kerry called a "moral obscenity."
The dollar fell 0.2 percent versus the yen to 98.27 yen
, pulling away from a near three-week high of 99.15 yen
set on Friday on trading platform EBS. The dollar fell to as low
as 98.04 yen earlier on Tuesday.
The yen rose broadly, with the Australian dollar sliding 0.8
percent to 88.25 yen. When market sentiment toward
risky assets worsens, that can bolster the perceived safe haven
appeal of the yen.
The jitters over Syria seemed to be triggering a risk-off
type of market reaction, said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global
markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in
It is hard to tell how serious the situation might become,
and that sense of uncertainty seemed to be affecting the market,
"You could say the uncertainty is causing the market to turn
risk-off," Okagawa said.
Even with the yen's rise on Tuesday, however, the dollar was
still hovering within a recent trading range versus the yen,
and held above last week's low of 96.91 yen set on Aug. 20.
Jeffrey Halley, an FX trader for Saxo Capital Markets in
Singapore said there was some market talk of yen-buying by
Japanese exporters, adding that there was also talk of stop-loss
dollar offers at levels around 97.90 yen.
The euro held steady versus the dollar at $1.3372.
Economic data due later on Tuesday include Germany's Ifo
business climate survey for August, while the U.S. has the
Case-Shiller house price index, consumer confidence and the
Richmond Fed survey.