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Dollar easier below ¥114 in Tokyo ahead of U.S. jobs data

JIJI

The dollar was easier moderately below ¥114 in late Tokyo trading on Friday, with traders awaiting key U.S. jobs data for February, to be released later in the day.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥113.87-91, down from ¥114.13-14 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.0950-0951, up from $1.0868-0868, and at ¥124.68-70, up from ¥124.05-06.

The dollar was around ¥113.70 in the early morning after dropping as low as around ¥113.20 in New York trading overnight, dampened by a weak February reading in the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing employment index, traders said.

The greenback briefly sank below ¥113.30 in Tokyo later in the morning, as Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told a parliamentary committee meeting that at the moment he has no plans to further cut the interest rate, already in negative territory, on private financial institutions’ deposits at the central bank.

Still, the U.S. currency climbed back to near ¥114 in the afternoon, on the back of the Nikkei stock average’s rebound above 17,000.

“The underlying trend (in the dollar-yen rate) proved to be firm as the (dollar’s) downside was supported by buying on dips,” an official at a foreign exchange brokerage house said.

But the dollar has been top-heavy following its rally from levels near ¥112 early this week.

Currency traders are waiting to see if the U.S. government’s forthcoming jobs data provide incentives to buy the U.S. currency further.