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Greenback falls below ¥99.50 line

JIJI

The dollar fell below ¥99.50 Thursday in Tokyo, weighed down by selling triggered by a fall in stock prices.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥99.26-26, down from ¥99.72-73 at the same time Wednesday.

The euro stood at $1.3117-3119, up from $1.3077-3079, and at ¥130.21-24, down from ¥130.42-44.

The dollar took over the sluggish mood in overseas trading Wednesday that stemmed from weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data for May released by Automatic Data Processing Inc., which said the private sector added 135,000 nonfarm jobs in May, undershooting estimates by economists.

The U.S. economy has shown strength mainly in private-sector employment since last month, an economist at a think tank said, “but some of the luster now has been lost.”

Amid increasing uncertainties about the U.S. economy, market players are tilting toward risk aversion, at least temporarily, a bank-linked brokerage official said, and as a consequence, the yen tends to attract haven purchases.

On Thursday, the dollar moved at the mercy of wild swings in stock prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which closed lower.

But at levels below ¥99, the dollar received support from real demand-backed purchases, a major Japanese bank official said.

Market players are awaiting the U.S. Labor Department’s employment report for May due out Friday. Expectations about the Federal Reserve’s early exit from its quantitative easing regime would recede significantly depending on the jobs data, a market strategist said.