Business / Financial Markets | TSE DATA & REPORT

Dollar firmer around ¥105.50 in Tokyo as Diet hears key testimony

JIJI

The dollar was firmer around ¥105.50 in Tokyo trading late Tuesday, as a key sworn witness in the Diet denied the involvement of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or his aides in a high-profile cronyism scandal.

At 5 p.m. the dollar stood at ¥105.48-48, up from ¥105.06-07 at the same time on Monday. The euro was at $1.2465-2465, up from $1.2382-2382, and at ¥131.48-50, up from ¥130.09-10.

The dollar topped ¥105.50 in the morning and hovered above the level before edging down the mark in late trading.

The greenback’s advance was also backed by media reports that the U.S. and Chinese governments have started backstage talks to resolve bilateral trade tensions, and that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may have arrived in Beijing on Monday for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, traders said.

“The dollar’s downside versus the yen grew firmer as uncertainties in Japan and abroad receded for now,” an official at a foreign exchange brokerage house said.

The official added that it is uncertain whether the attention on the scandal involving school operator Moritomo Gakuen will fade following the parliamentary testimony by former Finance Ministry official Nobuhisa Sagawa.

During Tuesday’s testimony, Sagawa — former head of the MOF Financial Bureau — claimed that there were no instructions from the prime minister or those representing him behind manipulation by bureau officials of ministry documents related to a controversial state land deal with Moritomo.