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Poor U.S. results send dollar lower

JIJI

The dollar moved lower at levels below ¥97.50 in Tokyo trading Thursday, weighed down by weaker than expected U.S. economic data released overnight.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥97.22-27, down from ¥97.44-45 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.3162-3163, down from $1.3171-3172, and at ¥127.98-128.00, down from ¥128.35-42.

The dollar carried over its weak tone from overnight trading overseas, where it was hit by selling due to unfavorable readings in U.S. economic data, including Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s private-sector jobs report for April.

The ADP report showed that nonfarm payrolls increased 119,000 in April from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, lower than a consensus market forecast of an increase of 150,000.

The dollar was also pressured by the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing activity index for April, which fell for the second straight month, market sources said.

The dollar fell to near ¥97 in early trading but later attracted buy orders from real demand-backed players before the four-day weekend.

After coming under selling pressure in line with falls of Japanese stocks, the dollar was stuck in a narrow range below ¥97.50 as a wait-and-see mood grew before the European Central Bank’s policy meeting later Thursday.

“Although the dollar is on a weak note against the yen, investors are finding it difficult to tilt their positions either way before the announcement of a monetary policy decision by the ECB and the release on Friday of the U.S. government’s jobs data for April,” an official at a foreign -exchange margin trading service firm said.