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Greenback firmer around ¥82.50

JIJI

The dollar advanced to around ¥82.50 in Tokyo on the back of rekindled speculation Thursday that the Bank of Japan will be pressed to reinforce its monetary easing after the general election.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥82.42-43, up from ¥82.23-24 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.3048-3050, down from $1.3116-3119, and at ¥107.54-57, down from ¥107.86-88.

Market participants sold the yen after public opinion polls conducted by major media companies showed that the Liberal Democratic Party is on course to secure a single-party majority of seats in the Dec. 16 election in the House of Representatives and take back power.

Earlier this week, currency players moved to unload yen-short positions that had piled up following LDP chief Shinzo Abe’s remarks urging the BOJ to take drastic easing measures to help the nation overcome deflation.

“After short-term yen-short positions were covered, there is a mood mainly among overseas players to make renewed selling of the Japanese currency,” said an official of a major Japanese bank.

The market took a respite after the dollar rose to around ¥82.60 past noon. Players found it hard to buy dollars aggressively amid lingering concerns over the so-called fiscal cliff problem in the United States, said an official of a think tank.

Caution ahead of U.S. jobs data for November, to be released Friday, also left the dollar-yen rate static in the afternoon.

The euro fell against the yen and the dollar on position-adjusting sales following its recent rapid gains. Also behind its softness was Standard & Poor’s downgrading Wednesday of its long-term sovereign credit ratings on Greece to selective default from speculative grade.