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Dollar briefly tops ¥94 on U.S. jobs

JIJI

The dollar briefly rose above ¥94 in Tokyo trading Thursday, thanks chiefly to an improvement in U.S. employment data released overnight, but its topside was limited prior to key overseas events.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥93.96-96, up from ¥93.28-30 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.2994-2996, down from $1.3050-3052, and at ¥122.09-12, up from ¥121.74-75.

In overnight trading abroad, the greenback rose above the ¥94 line thanks to stronger-than-expected U.S. private-sector jobs data for February released by Automatic Data Processing Inc.

Carrying over the firmness into Tokyo trading, the U.S. currency was also aided by higher stock prices on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time high for a second straight trading day Wednesday.

In morning trading, the greenback rose above ¥94.10 at one point in line with its strength against the Australian dollar, after Canberra’s trade deficit in January turned out to be larger than expected, brokers said.

Dollar-yen trading was little affected by the Bank of Japan’s decision to keep its monetary policy unchanged at a two-day Policy Board meeting that ended Thursday. “Investors had factored in the BOJ’s inaction,” an official at a foreign exchange broker said.

The dollar later traded in a narrow range mostly below ¥94, as investors refrained from aggressive buying ahead of the release Friday of the U.S. government’s closely watched jobs data for February. The currency was also pressured by speculation over selling linked to repatriation moves by Japanese companies before the March 31 fiscal yearend, brokers said.