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Dollar slides to around ¥120.50 in Tokyo

JIJI

The dollar slid to around ¥120.50 in Tokyo on Thursday, as Japanese stocks fell into negative territory in the afternoon.

At 5 p.m., the dollar was at ¥120.45-46, down from ¥121.11-12 at the same time Tuesday. The Tokyo market was closed Wednesday for a national holiday.

The euro was at $1.0946-0947, up from $1.0919-0920, and at ¥131.85-86, down from ¥132.24-26.

After hovering around ¥121 in early trading, the greenback weakened as the Nikkei average shed part of its earlier gains in the morning.

The U.S. currency drew buybacks temporarily in the afternoon. But it later fell to around ¥120.50, as dollar selling intensified after the Nikkei fell into the minus column.

In late hours, the U.S. currency fell below ¥120.50.

“The impact of selling was magnified in thin trading,” with many players away for Christmas holidays, a currency market broker said.

“Market participants were cautious about buying dollars due to low crude oil prices and other factors,” said an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.

Dollar purchases prompted by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike earlier this month have subsided for now, a market source said.

The market reacted little to a speech by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda Thursday afternoon, as it “gave no fresh trading clue,” the currency broker said.