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Dollar moves tightly around ¥99.50

JIJI

The dollar traded in a narrow range around ¥99.50 in Tokyo trading Wednesday as a wait-and-see mood grew ahead of closely watched economic events later this week.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥99.58-59, down from ¥99.63-67 at the same time Tuesday. The euro was at $1.3158-3160, down from $1.3173-3174, and at ¥131.04-07, down from ¥131.22-25.

In trading overseas overnight, the dollar briefly rose to around ¥99.80 following the announcement of an unexpected improvement in the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing activity index for August. But the greenback lost ground after some key U.S. lawmakers expressed their support for military intervention in Syria.

In early Tokyo trading, the dollar fell to near ¥99.40 after a strong earthquake struck the Tohoku and Kanto regions, but regained strength as Tokyo stocks turned higher in the afternoon, rising above ¥99.70 temporarily.

But the U.S. currency failed to extend gains before the release of the U.S. government’s jobs data for August on Friday, traders said.

“Players took to the sidelines to wait for policy announcements on Thursday by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank,” an official at a foreign brokerage house also pointed out.

After European investors joined the market in late hours, the dollar was confined in a tight range around ¥99.50.

“There are massive dollar-selling orders at levels above ¥99.80,” a major domestic bank official said.

Due also to uncertainties over the situation in Syria, “the dollar is expected to remain range-bound below ¥100 for the time being,” another bank official said.