The dollar moved on a firmer note above ¥102 in Tokyo trading on Tuesday after topping the threshold in New York overnight, backed by higher stock prices and a rise in U.S. interest rates.
At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥102.31-33, up from ¥101.89-90 at the same time Monday. The euro was at $1.3769-3769, compared with $1.3769-3771, and at ¥140.88-91, up from ¥140.31-35.
Dollar buying versus the yen was prompted by a surge in the Nikkei that came after the U.S. Dow Jones industrial average hit an all-time closing high on Monday.
Yet, the dollar’s topside was limited amid increasing tensions over Ukraine, traders said. The market closures in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on Tuesday for national holidays also prevented market sentiment from tilting to risk-on mode, they said.
“Despite the dollar’s underlying firmness supported by stock price rises in Japan and abroad, traders are still refraining from active buying, limiting the U.S. currency’s gains against the yen,” an official at a major Japanese bank said.
Also behind the reluctance to actively snap up dollars are recently announced lackluster U.S. gross domestic product data for January-March, another Japanese bank official noted.
Meanwhile, Chinese industrial production and retail sales data for April, released Tuesday afternoon, pressured the dollar as they fell slightly short of market expectations, traders said.
Currency traders were waiting to see U.S. retail sales data for April to be released later on Tuesday.