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Dollar range-bound below 102.20

JIJI

The dollar was stuck in a narrow range below ¥102.20 in Tokyo trading Tuesday as active trading was held in check before the end of Japan’s current fiscal year next week.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥102.12-14, down from ¥102.54-55 at the same time Monday. The euro was at $1.3834-3837, up from $1.3826-3826, and at ¥141.30-32, down from ¥141.50-54.

In early trading, the dollar carried over its sluggish tone from overnight trading overseas, where the greenback was hit by selling due to a fall in U.S. stock prices and a moderate drop in U.S. long-term interest rates.

After falling to around ¥102.10 at one point due to selling by Japanese exporters, the dollar attracted some buybacks as Japanese stocks trimmed their early losses to move into plus territory.

The dollar grew top-heavy as the Nikkei average turned lower again toward the close.

“With the stock market lacking a clear direction, dollar-yen trading was thin,” an official at a foreign exchange broker said.

Investors also refrained from trading aggressively before the end next Monday of fiscal 2013 in Japan, market sources said.

Dollar-yen trading is expected to be range-bound for the rest of this month, an official at a major trust bank said.

“Excessive risk-averse mood has receded,” an official at another foreign exchange broker said of the crisis in Ukraine. Effects on the global economy from possible additional sanctions against Russia “would be small,” the official said.

Still, concerns over the Ukraine crisis are “expected to linger at least until the presidential election in May,” an official at a bank-affiliated brokerage house said.