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Greenback remains soft below ¥92

JIJI

The dollar moved on a soft tone mostly below ¥92 in Tokyo trading Wednesday amid risk-aversion prompted by sluggish stocks.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥91.83-83, almost flat from ¥91.80-81 at the same time Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.3093-3095, up from $1.3047-3050, and at ¥120.23-25, up from ¥119.78-81.

The dollar rose above ¥92.20 in early Tokyo trading after temporarily retreating below ¥91.50 in New York overnight as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke showed his readiness to continue the U.S. central bank’s monetary easing.

In congressional testimony Tuesday, Bernanke said that “in the current economic environment, the benefits of asset purchases, and of policy accommodation more generally, are clear.”

In Tokyo the U.S. unit soon slipped below ¥92, with market participants shunning riskier assets as the Nikkei average moved in negative territory.

“The market’s ‘risk-off’ mood remains strong following the euro’s tumble,” an official at a currency broker said.

Selling hit the European common currency Tuesday after a general election in Italy left no coalition in control of Parliament and flared up worries about the course of the debt-laden country’s austerity measures.

“While the dollar’s top side versus the yen was weighed down by concern over the Italian political situation, its downside was supported by buying on dips,” said an official of a European bank.

Meanwhile, selling of yen on speculation over the Bank of Japan’s next governor and deputy governors ran out of steam after news reports Tuesday about the planned nominees.