Business / Financial Markets | CURRENCY MARKET

Dollar tops ¥106.50 in Tokyo on U.S.-North Korea news

JIJI

The dollar advanced above ¥106.50 in Tokyo trading on Friday, with geopolitical concern over the Korean Peninsula eased by news that U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥106.68-68, up from ¥105.94-95 at the same time on Thursday. The euro was at $1.2318-2318, down from $1.2410-2410, and at ¥131.43-43, down from ¥131.47-47.

The dollar climbed above ¥106.40 in early trading as excessive worries about U.S. steel and aluminum import tariffs retreated after Trump allowed some exceptions to the trade restrictions.

The U.S. currency accelerated its upswing and jumped above ¥106.90 later in the morning on the back of news reports that Trump will hold talks with the North Korean leader by May.

The dollar fell back below ¥106.70 before noon as Tokyo stocks cut earlier gains substantially. It moved around ¥106.50-70 later in the afternoon.

At a two-day meeting that ended Friday, the Bank of Japan decided to keep its accommodative monetary policy unchanged. The currency market reacted little to the decision as it was in line with expectations, according to traders.

Attention was focusing on growth in average hourly earnings in U.S. jobs data for February, due out later on Friday, traders said. If the figure turns out to be strong U.S. long-term interest rates could rise, prompting selling of U.S. equities and dampening the dollar, a Japanese bank official said.