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Dollar improves slightly to ¥102.50

JIJI

The dollar moved around ¥102.50 in late Tokyo trading Friday after paring earlier gains on stock price falls.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥102.50-50, slightly up from ¥102.35-36 at the same time Thursday.

The euro was at $1.3546-3547, down from $1.3624-3626, and at ¥138.84-87, down from ¥139.44-46.

The greenback briefly advanced above ¥102.90 in early Tokyo trading on buying cheering solid U.S. gross domestic product data released overnight. Purchases by Japanese exporters also supported the dollar, traders said.

However, the U.S. currency fell back in the afternoon, dampened when the Nikkei average dropped into negative territory after moving higher.

The currency market turned less liquid because Chinese and some other Asian players began taking Chinese New Year’s holidays, traders said.

“Volatility could increase in some currency and stock transactions” amid thin trading, an official at a major Japanese bank said.

The market showed only a limited reaction to the announcement in the morning that Japan’s core consumer price index rose 1.3 percent in December, the fastest growth since October 2008.

But players moved to the buy the dollar, taking heart from the 3.2 percent increase in U.S. real GDP on an annualized basis in October-December.

“The data showed that the U.S. economy grew more than 3 percent despite negative effects of the government shutdown and the cold wave,” said an official at a major foreign exchange margin trading service firm.