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Dollar range-bound at ¥97.40

JIJI

The dollar moved narrowly around ¥97.40 in Tokyo trading Thursday, amid increasing uncertainties about the U.S. and other economies.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥97.39-41, almost unchanged from ¥97.38-40 at the same time Wednesday. The euro stood at $1.3787-3789, up from $1.3755-3756, and at ¥134.29-31, up from ¥133.95-98.

The dollar retook ¥97.50 in the afternoon temporarily after falling below ¥97.20 in the morning.

The turnaround came in lockstep with a recovery of Japanese stock prices from earlier weakness after a tumble on the previous day, traders said.

Additional support for the greenback came from a stronger than expected result of a private-sector survey on China’s manufacturing industry purchasing managers’ index for October, traders added.

In late afternoon trading, however, the dollar gave up some of its gains. A major Japanese bank official said that “uncertainties remain strong over the future course of the domestic and foreign economies.”

Many market players are paying more attention to dollar-negative factors, such as a delay in the anticipated reduction in U.S. monetary stimulus and the negative impact of the recent U.S. government shutdown, an official of a bank-linked brokerage said.

“Investors tilted toward risk aversion,” said a foreign exchange market analyst.

Major financial institutions in the United States and Europe have released projections that a reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond purchases is now seen not starting until March or even later.

In addition, the U.S. government shutdown is almost certain to dent the country’s October-December gross domestic product.