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Written by: Staff

TOKYO, Oct 27 (Reuters) The yen hit a record low against the euro and fell against the dollar on Friday after softer-than-expected consumer price figures suggested that the Bank of Japan could wait until 2007 to raise interest rates.

The nationwide core consumer price index in September climbed 0.2 percent from a year earlier, a touch below expectations for a 0.3 percent rise.

Some dealers said the figure trimmed expectations built up over past weeks that the BOJ could raise rates before the end of the year.

''Speculation for a December rate rise had been building up, but the CPI figure wasn't that strong, and this is cutting into those expectations, resulting in yen selling,'' said Hiroshi Yoshida, forex manager at Shinkin Central Bank.

The yen was also pressured by data showing that Japanese retail sales climbed 0.8 percent from a year earlier, less than forecasts for a rise of 1.3 percent.

Yen selling pushed the euro up to a record high 150.80 yen on electronic trading platform EBS.

The dollar climbed to around 118.70 yen, up 0.2 percent from the level in late U.S. trade.

The dollar remained under pressure from the euro, with the single European currency trading around $1.2695, near a three-week high.

Sentiment towards the dollar continued to soften after the Federal Reserve offered no fresh clues into its rate outlook earlier in the week, when it kept rates unchanged at 5.25 percent.

Speculation that the BOJ could raise rates before the end of December had been brewing after BOJ Governor Toshihiko Fukui said earlier this month that he could not deny such a possibility.

Reuters DKS VP0644

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