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Dollar retreats back below ¥100

JIJI

The dollar softened below ¥100 in Tokyo trading Thursday, weighed down by position-adjusting selling in late hours ahead of crucial events later this week, such as the release of the U.S. government’s employment data.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥99.71-72, down from ¥100.11-13 at the same time Wednesday. The euro was at $1.2989-2991, up from $1.2927-2929, and at ¥129.53-54, up from ¥129.42-43.

The dollar traded on a weak note in early trading, as concerns over political confusion in Portugal and a coup in Egypt prompted purchases of the yen as a safe-haven currency.

The dollar briefly rose above ¥100 in the morning after Automatic Data Processing Inc.’s U.S. private-sector jobs report for June, released Wednesday, showed a bigger than expected month-on-month rise in nonfarm payrolls and U.S. stocks posted gains.

But the U.S. currency moved tightly below ¥100 for most of Thursday.

After European players took part in transactions in late hours, the dollar briefly fell to around ¥99.50, pressured by moves to liquidate dollar-long, yen-short positions before the U.S. Labor Department’s announcement Friday of its employment report for June.

Market players were generally sitting on the fence ahead of the U.S. financial markets’ closure Thursday for Independence Day and the release of U.S. jobs data.

“Other than short-term players, market participants are cautious about actively tilting their positions either way,” said an official of a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.

“Political turmoil in Portugal is a dollar-negative factor, but market players are in no mood to sell off the dollar, helped by ADP’s better than expected employment report for June,” said a forex broker.