Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Dollar firmer around ¥108.20 in Tokyo

JIJI

The dollar was firmer around ¥108.20 in late Tokyo trading Monday, although active buying was held in check amid a growing wait-and-see mood.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥108.17-17, up from ¥107.84-85 at the same time Friday. The euro was at $1.1436-1437, up from $1.1407-1407, and at ¥123.72-72, up from ¥123.02-03.

After topping ¥108.50 in the early morning, the dollar gradually lost ground, coming close to ¥108.00 on position adjustment selling toward noon. But the U.S. currency resisted falling further, supported by buybacks.

In late afternoon trading, the greenback moved narrowly around ¥108.20, with players increasingly retreating to the sidelines to wait for the outcome of crucial trade talks between the United States and China that started in Beijing on Monday for a two-day run, traders said.

Better than expected official U.S. jobs data for December and “dovish” remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell led to a sharp rebound in the Nikkei 225 stock average, which encouraged dollar purchases against the yen in the morning.

But the dollar turned top-heavy later, as the bearish view grew that the Fed may slow down the speed of its interest rate increase and, as a result, the Japan-U.S. rate gap is unlikely to widen much further, market sources said.