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Greenback stuck around ¥99.50

JIJI

The dollar moved narrowly around ¥99.50 in Tokyo trading Wednesday amid a dearth of fresh market-moving factors.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥99.56-58, down from ¥99.66-68 at the same time Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.3429-3431, up from ¥1.3386-3387, and at ¥133.72-77, up from ¥133.42-44.

The dollar took a breather in Tokyo after rising to two-month highs around ¥99.80 in overseas trading Tuesday, traders said.

The impact of the stronger than expected U.S. jobs data released last week has run its course, while a wait-and-see mood was increasing ahead of a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing Thursday for Janet Yellen, who has been nominated as successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

The greenback faced resistance at highs, hit by weaker Japanese stock prices, said an official of a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.

“Dollar-yen rates have risen so far thanks to the strength of recently announced U.S. economic indicators such as the jobs data,” a major Japanese bank official said.

“But we still have some doubt” as to whether the U.S. economy is as strong as indicated by the recent data, the official added, also noting heavy sell orders for the dollar lined up below ¥100.

Yellen’s hearing is expected to provide an important clue to the future course of U.S. long-term interest rates, which began rising on the strong U.S. jobs data, an official of a foreign brokerage said.

Yellen, currently the Fed’s vice chair, is widely regarded as a dove. But she may have to change her stance after she becomes Fed chief, because she will need to take into account the opinion of Republicans opposing the continuation of the current monetary policy for an extended period.