DOLLAR PULLS BACK AFTER ALMOST HITTING 8-YEAR HIGH AGAINST YEN

DOLLAR PULLS BACK AFTER ALMOST HITTING 8-YEAR HIGH AGAINST YEN

* Noon Tuesday - The U.S. dollar retreated from near an eight-year high of of 137.86 yen Tuesday, as U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin distanced himself from a U.S. News & World Report article saying that he is prepared to see the yen falling to 150 to the dollar if this would save the Japanese economy from collapse.

Mr. Rubin said he ''saw that report and was somewhat surprised about it.''''We have over the last several months said that the Japanese authorities have expressed their concern about the weakness of the yen and we share their concern,'' Mr. Rubin said to reporters ahead of a meeting with Chinese finance officials.

Fresh turmoil in Russian and South Korean markets kept the Swiss franc in demand as a safe haven, while the British pound also strengthened.

* 9 a.m. Tuesday - The dollar soared Tuesday morning to near an eight-year high against the Japanese yen on a report that U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was willing to let the yen fall to 150 to the dollar if that is what it takes to revive Japan's economy.

The dollar was trading Tuesday morning at 137.64 yen, up from 135.88 yen late Friday and at 1.7687 Deutsche marks, up from DM1.7591.

The Rubin report in U.S. News & World Report was denied, but many market participants suspect that Mr. Rubin's failure to sanction intervention lends credence to such talk, said Marc Chandler, senior analyst at Deutsche Bank in New York. * 3 p.m. Friday - The dollar rose in quiet trading ahead of the three-day holiday weekend.

The dollar was trading Friday afternoon at 135.82 yen, up from 134.95 yen late Thursday, and at 1.7587 Deutsche marks, up slightly from DM1.7585.

The dollar rose sharply against the yen in Tokyo on the release of the Bank of Japan's April 9 minutes that hinted at monetary easing.

In Indonesia, the decision by President B.J. Habibie to oust Trade Minister Bob Hasan and Suharto's daughter Tutut was seen as a welcome sign that Mr. Habibie is taking a hard line on reforming the Cabinet.