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Dollar remains stuck in tight range

JIJI

The dollar was trapped in a tight range around ¥102.30 in Tokyo trading Wednesday, lacking a clear direction in the absence of fresh trading pegs.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥102.28-32, up from ¥102.12-14 at the same time Tuesday. The euro was at $1.3814-3817, down from $1.3834-3837, and at ¥141.31-31, almost unchanged from ¥141.30-32.

In oversea trading overnight, the dollar rose to around ¥102.50 at one point, but its upside was limited as U.S. economic data showed mixed results.

While the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for March and the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for January were strong, new housing sales in February were weak.

After moving around ¥102.25 in early morning trading in Tokyo, the dollar briefly rose to around ¥102.40 as Tokyo stocks got off to a solid start.

The dollar failed to extend gains and came under moderate position-adjustment selling after stocks grew top-heavy.

The greenback was stuck in a narrow range in the afternoon as market participants retreated to the sidelines due to a lack of fresh trading incentives.

“Before the end of fiscal 2013 on Monday, currency players refrained from active trading,” an official of a major Japanese bank said.

An official at another Japanese bank said that “the dollar is facing resistance around ¥102.50-60 and there is no factor to stimulate active dollar purchases for now.”

Although the dollar drew demand at low levels from real demand-backed players, “its topside was capped by uncertainties over the crisis in Ukraine,” an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm said.