The dollar climbed to levels just below ¥118 in Tokyo on Tuesday as stocks climbed and players were persuaded to buy back the U.S. currency.
At 5 p.m., the dollar was at ¥117.90-90, up from ¥117.03-03 at the same time Monday. The euro was at $1.0865-0865, down from $1.0892-0892, and at ¥128.11-11, up from ¥127.47-48.
After trading around ¥117.30 in early hours, the greenback firmed to around ¥117.60 in midmorning trading.
The dollar briefly fell below ¥117.30 following the release of Chinese economic data including GDP for October-December and the whole of 2015.
Selling hit the dollar against the yen as China’s GDP, industrial production and retail sales were considered “weak on the whole,” said an official at a foreign exchange margin trading service firm.
But the dollar later attracted buybacks and rose close to ¥118, as the Nikkei average returned to positive territory in the afternoon, supported by the firmness of Chinese stocks, traders said.
“The market’s risk-off mood eased for now, as players found the Chinese economic indicators to be weak but still better than the worst (projections) and Shanghai stocks gained ground,” an official at a think tank said.
“Expectations linger that stocks and the dollar-yen pair may be hitting near-term bottoms in a correction to the risk aversion since the beginning of the year,” a currency broker said.
Meanwhile, persistent worries over the course of the Chinese economy and falling crude prices continued to overshadow investor sentiment. “It will take time before the risk-off mood completely disappears,” a margin trading service firm official said.