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Dollar easier around ¥109 in Tokyo

JIJI

The dollar moved on a weak note around ¥109 in Tokyo trading Friday, reflecting another plunge in Tokyo stock prices.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥109.14-15, down from ¥109.52 at the same time Thursday. The euro was at $1.2283, up from $1.2267, and at ¥134.07-08, down from ¥134.37.

The dollar fell below ¥108.60 in early trading, but retook ¥109 later in the morning as dollar purchases from real demand-backed players took the upper hand and the benchmark 225-issue Nikkei average trimmed earlier losses, traders said.

The dollar fluctuated mostly around ¥109 in the afternoon, before rising above ¥109.10 in late trading on the back of a rise in U.S. long-term interest rates in after-hours trading, traders said.

The U.S. currency came under selling pressure when Tokyo stocks extended losses, but attracted buybacks in line with some of the resilience seen in the stock market.

The dollar repeated ups and downs affected chiefly by stock market movements, a foreign exchange broker said, adding that the currency market had no major incentives unique to dollar-yen trading.

A fund manager at one asset management firm expects the U.S. equity market, which met with heavy selling Thursday and dampened Tokyo stocks the following day, to be stabilized sometime soon in view of the firmness of the U.S. economy.

With downside risks remaining for stock prices for now, however, worries about a further drop of the dollar against the yen have yet to be dispelled, said a major institutional investor.