The dollar surged above 127 yen May 1 in Tokyo to hit its highest level in nearly five years, in response to a report on a strong U.S. economy.
The market took encouragement from the report that the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 5.6 percent in the first quarter, the strongest in a decade. With a robust showing in New York overnight carrying over into Tokyo trading, the dollar briefly changed hands at 127.18 yen, its highest level since August 1992, before settling at 127.14-17 yen at 3 p.m., compared with late quotes April 30 of 126.91-93 yen.
In New York trading overnight, the dollar hit an intraday high of 127.13 yen, a shade below its 4 1/2-year high of 127.14 yen reached April 10. In the market’s view, the U.S. Federal Reserve is coming under growing pressure to raise interest rates. Because higher rates make U.S. investments more attractive, the uptrend in the dollar’s value gathered momentum, reflecting a growing flow of money into U.S. securities, traders said.