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Dollar slightly firmer near ¥111.20 in late Tokyo trades

JIJI

The dollar was firmer near ¥111.20 in Tokyo trading late Wednesday, after trimming earlier gains in tandem with Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock average.

At 5 p.m. the dollar stood at ¥111.18-18, up from ¥111.14-14 at the same time on Tuesday. The euro was at $1.1665-1666, down from $1.1685-1686, and at ¥129.70-71, down from ¥129.87-88.

The dollar traded above ¥111.10 in the early morning.

The greenback rose above ¥111.30 before noon as the Nikkei 225 accelerated its upswing. Month-end demand from Japanese importers also pushed up the dollar, traders said.

In the afternoon, the dollar fell below ¥111.20 after Tokyo stocks narrowed earlier gains.

Selling hit the dollar when it rose above ¥111.30 this week, but the U.S. currency’s downside has been “solid” thanks to receding of excessive concerns over trade friction between the United States and other economies, a currency broker said.

With Tokyo stocks moving on a bullish note in step with U.S. equities, “risk sentiment in the market is not bad,” said an official at a major Japanese bank.

An official at another major Japanese bank suggested risk-on yen selling against the dollar may gain strength in the short term following a U.S.-Mexico deal to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, announced on Monday.