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Greenback slumps below ¥102

JIJI

The dollar dropped below ¥101.70 in Tokyo trading Friday, weighed down by a decline in Tokyo stocks and concern over the political crisis in Ukraine.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was quoted at ¥101.64-65, down from ¥102.34-37 at the same time Thursday. The euro stood at $1.3715-3716, up from $1.3673-3675, and at ¥139.40-42, down from ¥139.96-96.

The greenback traded above ¥102.10 in early trading in Tokyo after temporarily falling below the ¥102 line in overseas trading overnight in the wake of news that Russia has begun a military exercise near the border with Ukraine.

Reflecting jitters over Russia’s possible armed intervention in Ukraine, investors sold off the euro to buy the yen, regarded as a safe-haven currency in times of turmoil.

In New York, the dollar showed some resilience to retake ¥102, after U.S. government data showed that durable goods orders for January were not as weak as the market had expected. Congressional testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen provided few fresh trading incentives.

While market participants remained optimistic about the course of the U.S. economy, the political confusion in Ukraine cast a shadow over the market.

“Market players are beginning to see risks in the situation surrounding Ukraine, with little prospect for stabilizing,” a foreign exchange broker said.

In Tokyo midmorning trading, the U.S. currency fell below the ¥102 line, due in part to Japanese exporters’ selling for month-end settlements.

The dollar came under renewed selling pressure in the afternoon as the Nikkei average showed a sluggish performance.