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[TOKYO] The US dollar vaulted to 13 1/2-year highs against a basket of major currencies after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled an interest-rate hike could be imminent.
The Singapore currency was down 0.7 per cent to US$0.7016 to the US dollar as of 9:30am, extending its fall against the greenback since the Nov 8 US election to 2.5 per cent.
The ringgit weakened 0.5 per cent to US$0.2272 to the US currency, making it a slide of 4.8 per cent since the US vote.
The yen fluctuated around 110.11 per US dollar after sliding 1 per cent on Thursday, on track for its second weekly retreat of more than 3 per cent.
The won slipped at least 0.3 per cent with the baht. The euro slumped to US$1.0620, a low last seen almost a year ago.
The dollar's strength leaves Asian stocks vulnerable to potential rotation out of emerging markets to the United States.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.3 per cent in early trade to hover just above its four-month low touched earlier in the week. It looks set to log its fourth straight week of losses.
The dollar's rise, however, was a boon for Japan's exporter-driven Nikkei average as the yen weakened further, rising 0.9 per cent to a 10-month high. BLOOMBERG,REUTERS