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Asian markets push dollar past ¥82

JIJI

The dollar rose above ¥82 in Tokyo trading Wednesday as the firmness of Asian stock markets helped fuel investors’ risk appetite.

At 5 p.m., the greenback was quoted at ¥82.23-24, up from ¥81.93-95 at the same time Tuesday. The euro was at $1.3116-3119, up from $1.3070-3071, and at ¥107.86-88, up from ¥107.10-11.

After falling to around ¥81.70 in New York overnight, the dollar moved lower in early trading on concerns over the “fiscal cliff” of imminent mandatory tax increases and spending cuts in the United States, as political talks over countermeasures remain deadlocked.

But the U.S. currency soared above ¥82.30 after noon as gains in the Chinese and other Asian stock markets prompted market players to sell the safe-haven yen for riskier assets.

The dollar also received support versus the yen from Bank of Japan Deputy Gov. Kiyohiko Nishimura’s remark that the bank is ready to “take appropriate and decisive action” when the economy strays too far from its baseline scenario.

“Speculators appear to have made renewed dollar purchases after the greenback’s downside proved limited,” said an official of a major Japanese bank, although the market experienced strong moves to unwind yen-selling positions piled up by opposition leader Shinzo Abe’s call for aggressive monetary easing from the BOJ.

The dollar-yen pair was stuck in a tight range in the afternoon.

The greenbacks’s topside was capped by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may decide to reinforce a third round of quantitative easing at its Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week, a currency market broker said.